Appellate and Supreme Court Litigation LITIGATION/CONTROVERSY

Our seasoned appellate lawyers have argued more than 115 cases before the US Supreme Court, including leading cases in areas such as antitrust, banking law, bankruptcy, communications, constitutional law, employment, energy regulation, federal preemption, patent, securities regulation and tax. We regularly handle matters in federal and state appellate courts throughout the United States, and have represented clients in more than 30 patent and other cases in the Federal Circuit in the last two years. In 2013 alone, 24 different WilmerHale lawyers made a total of 42 oral arguments in state and federal courts, including seven arguments by five different lawyers in the Supreme Court. Combining our trial and appellate strengths allows us to shape litigation strategy from the outset to maximize the likelihood of ultimate success. Clients also retain us to advise them on complex and often unsettled legal issues, no matter what the particular forum or context.

WilmerHale's Appellate and Supreme Court Litigation Practice, with members in Washington DC, New York, Boston and Los Angeles, has been honored by Chambers USA every year since 2005. Chambers called our team a "bench of talent that is 'impressive beyond belief'" and cited our "built-in ability and knowledge to tackle appeals both before the state, federal and Supreme courts." According to Law360's review of the 2013 Supreme Court term, WilmerHale's seven arguments were "the most … before the high court this session" and noted that no other firm had more wins, with five. The National Law Journal also recognized the group by naming it to the Appellate Hot List for the seventh consecutive year in 2014, and described our Appellate and Supreme Court Litigation Practice as "broad, deep, successful." The group has also been recognized as a leader in appellate advocacy by U.S. News/Best Lawyers, Benchmark and Law360, which recently named WilmerHale to its "Practice Group of the Year" series for 2014.

Contacts

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Waxman, Seth P.

Seth P. Waxman

Chair, Appellate and Supreme Court Litigation Practice Group

+1 202 663 6800 (t)

seth.waxman@wilmerhale.com

Wolfson, Paul R.Q.

Paul R.Q. Wolfson

Vice Chair, Appellate and Supreme Court Litigation Practice Group

+1 202 663 6390 (t)

paul.wolfson@wilmerhale.com

Publications & News

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March 20, 2015

Managing IP Recognizes WilmerHale at Annual North America Awards Dinner

The firm received the Supreme Court Milestone Case of the Year award, and was shortlisted as one of the Patent Contentious Firms of the Year, the Copyright Northeast Firms of the Year and the Pharma IP Litigation Firms of the Year.

March 6, 2015

303 Conservatives File Historic Amicus Brief in Marriage Equality Case Before US Supreme Court

Project Right Side and former RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman formally filed an amicus brief with the United States Supreme Court involving four landmark cases slated to be heard on April 28, 2015 concerning government recognition of the freedom to marry.

March 6, 2015

Patent Law and the Supreme Court: Certiorari Petitions Denied

WilmerHale compiles lists of certiorari petitions that raise patent-law issues. This page contains a consolidated list of all recently denied petitions, organized in reverse chronological order by date of certiorari petition.

March 6, 2015

Patent Law and the Supreme Court: Certiorari Petitions Granted

WilmerHale compiles lists of certiorari petitions that raise patent-law issues. This page contains a consolidated list of all recently granted petitions, organized in reverse chronological order by date of certiorari petition.

March 6, 2015

Patent Law and the Supreme Court: Certiorari Petitions Pending

WilmerHale compiles lists of certiorari petitions that raise patent-law issues. This page contains a consolidated list of all pending petitions, organized in reverse chronological order by date of certiorari petition.

March 3, 2015

New Tips for Examining Your Own Witnesses and Using Their Depositions at Trial

An article by Sanket Bulsara and Ari Savitzky, published in the Winter 2015 edition of the American Bar Association’s Section of Litigation Trial Practice newsletter, Vol. 29 No. 2.

February 6, 2015

Law360 Names WilmerHale's Appellate and IP Practices as Groups of the Year

WilmerHale has been recognized among Law360's Appellate and IP Groups of the Year. This marks the fourth consecutive year that WilmerHale's appellate practice has been honored and is the third recognition for the firm's IP practice.

February 4, 2015

Dish Hopper Case: A Narrow Reading Of Aereo

An article by Andrea Weiss Jeffries and Elaine Zhong published in the February 4, 2015 edition of Law360.

December 10, 2014

Seth Waxman Named Among Law360’s Appellate MVPs of the Year

Law360 named Partner and Former Solicitor General Seth Waxman as an Appellate MVP of the Year. Law360's annual MVP contest recognizes the most elite attorneys in a wide range of practice areas who have had the most impressive successes in high-stakes litigation, record-breaking deals and complex global matters.

November 17, 2014

WilmerHale Named to National Law Journal’s 2014 Appellate Hot List

The National Law Journal named WilmerHale to its 2014 Appellate Hot List. The annual list honors 20 firms with significant appellate achievements within the year and a strong track record overall.

Recognition

WilmerHale’s appellate practice and its individual attorneys are universally recognized areas as leaders in the field.

  • The National Law Journal included WilmerHale’s appellate group in the "Appellate Hot List" in 2014 for the seventh consecutive year. In addition, Partners Mark Fleming and Danielle Spinelli were named Appellate Lawyer of the Week in 2011 and 2010, respectively.
  • Chambers USA 2014 recognized the firm's appellate practice with a top tier ranking nationally. Clients praise the group by saying: “they are available, they understand the problems so deeply and the client service is impeccable. They are client-sensitive and the product they deliver is fantastic—they are the dream team.” In 2014, Partner Seth Waxman was cited as a star individual. Clients say he is “supremely talented, from the clear thinking and thorough dedication that go into his preparation to his unrivaled demeanor in the courtroom,” and Partner Paul Wolfson is described as a “very bright, strong lawyer.” The group has been recognized by Chambers every year since 2005.
  • Law360 has named the practice “Group of the Year” for four consecutive years (2011-2014) in its annual series recognizing firms that have played a key role in the significant matters that made headlines and changed the legal landscape within the past year. The publication has also previously recognized Partner Mark Fleming as an “MVP of the Year” with distinction in appellate law (2011) and Partner Seth Waxman as an Appellate MVP of the Year (2014).
  • According to Law360, in the 2013 Supreme Court term, WilmerHale had more arguments than any other firm, with seven in the term. In addition, the firm’s five wins were the most achieved by any firm.
  • WilmerHale, along with Partner Seth Waxman, received Managing IP's 2015 Supreme Court Milestone Case of the Year award for the successful representation of POM in POM Wonderful v. Coca-Cola
  • The Legal 500 United States ranked WilmerHale’s appellate practice in the “Top Tier” in the 2012 edition of its annual guidebook, and commended the firm for its “superb pedigree before the US Supreme Court.”
  • In U.S. News Media Group and Best Lawyers’ 2013-2015 Best Law Firm rankings, our appellate practice ranked in the first tier nationally and in Boston and Washington DC for three consecutive years.
  • Benchmark Litigation 2013 recognized WilmerHale’s appellate practice nationally. In addition, Benchmark Appellate 2013 specifically praised our Appellate and Supreme Court Litigation Practice with a first-tier national ranking and highly recommended our group in Washington DC and in the US Courts of Appeal for the First and Federal Circuits.

Experience

Recent practice highlights include: 

  • Presented oral argument in seven cases in the Supreme Court’s 2013 term. Cases ranged from the enforceability of certain provisions in ERISA disability plans (Heimeshoff v. Hartford Life & Accident Insurance Co., which Partner Catherine Carroll successfully argued) to the treatment of certain IRAs for bankruptcy purposes (Clark v. Rameker, argued successfully by Partner Danielle Spinelli).  
  • Presented oral argument in four cases during the Supreme Court’s 2011 term. In Judulang v. Holder, Partner Mark Fleming successfully challenged the Board of Immigration Appeals policy restricting the availability of relief from deportation; in a unanimous opinion, the Court ruled in favor of our client and nullified the board’s policy as arbitrary and capricious. In December 2011, Partners Paul Wolfson and Seth Waxman argued cases on consecutive days in Messerschmidt v. Millender and Martel v. Clair. Finally, on January 12, 2012, Seth Waxman successfully argued in the closely watched FCC v. Fox Television, et al., which concerned the FCC’s indecency rules for broadcast television. Ruling unanimously, the Court set aside the FCC’s findings that television networks violated the agency’s indecency rules.
  • Won the judgment of acquittal on all counts against our client, former McAfee Chief Financial Officer Prabhat Goyal, in the Ninth Circuit. The decision was a resounding rejection of the government’s case, finding that no jury could reasonably have convicted Goyal of accounting fraud or related charges. In a concurring opinion that takes particular exception with the government’s pursuit of criminal charges, Chief Judge Kozinski noted: “Mr. Goyal had the benefit of exceptionally fine advocacy on appeal, so he is spared the punishment for a crime he didn’t commit. But not everyone is so lucky.” (United States v. Goyal)
  • Won a substantial victory in a nearly decade-long battle over patent rights for recordable/rewritable compact disks when the Federal Circuit—sitting en banc—affirmed the decision of the International Trade Commission. (Princo Corp. v. ITC)
  • Won a significant victory in the Supreme Court in 2010 on behalf of several ocean shippers in a case raising important issues of class arbitration under the Federal Arbitration Act. (Stolt-Nielsen v. Animalfeeds)
  • Successfully represented six inmates held without charge at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility. The firm obtained a landmark victory in the Supreme Court, which held—in a constitutional case now taught in law schools nationwide—that Guantanamo prisoners have a constitutional right to habeas corpus. (Boumediene v. Bush). On remand, the district court in Washington DC ordered five of our six clients released. In June 2010, we secured a victory on behalf of our sixth client when the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, in a case argued by Partner Mark Fleming, reversed and remanded the District Court’s denial of habeas relief. (Bensayah v. Obama) All six clients are now free.

Patent Cert. Petitions

WilmerHale compiles lists of certiorari petitions that raise patent-law issues. This page contains a consolidated list of all recently pending, granted and denied petitions, organized in each listing in reverse chronological order by date of certiorari petition.

Patent Law and the Supreme Court: Certiorari Petitions Pending

Patent Law and the Supreme Court: Certiorari Petitions Granted

Patent Law and the Supreme Court: Certiorari Petitions Denied

For more information on these petitions or other patent appeal matters, contact:

Joseph J. Mueller (+1 617 526 6396, joseph.mueller@wilmerhale.com)
Thomas G. Saunders (+1 202 663 6536, thomas.saunders@wilmerhale.com)
Leslie Pearlson (+1 617 526 6809, leslie.pearlson@wilmerhale.com)