Akiva Shapiro is a litigation associate in Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher's New York office, where he is a member of Gibson Dunn's Appellate and Constitutional Law, Media & Entertainment, and Commercial Litigation practice groups.
Mr. Shapiro's practice focuses on a broad range of high-stakes constitutional, appellate, criminal, and complex commercial litigation matters. He is regularly engaged in front of New York's trial courts, federal and state courts of appeal, and the U.S. Supreme Court.
Mr. Shapiro has played a central role in a wide range of multi-million and multi-billion dollar commercial disputes—four of which have gone to trial in the last two years—successfully representing plaintiffs and defendants in suits involving civil RICO, securities fraud, breach of contract, trademark and copyright infringement, breach of fiduciary duty, misappropriation, tortious interference, unjust enrichment, and forgery claims. He also regularly prosecutes high-profile constitutional and other exceeding-the-scope-of-authority challenges to the policies and legal determinations of government actors, in New York's trial courts and on appeal, and has on multiple occasions obtained emergency relief blocking the imminent implementation of statutes, rules, and official policies. Mr. Shapiro has argued numerous dispositive motions and appeals, examined and cross-examined witnesses at trial, drafted scores of successful briefs at every stage of litigation, and first-chaired over two-dozen depositions.
At the U.S. Supreme Court, Mr. Shapiro regularly participates in the preparation of certiorari and merits stage briefs, including as principal architect and author of a number of amicus briefs relied on by the Court in the constitutional rights, criminal, and separation of powers contexts. His clients have included Members of Congress, victims of international terrorism, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL), and the Cato Institute. He has also successfully represented clients in the federal circuit courts and in New York's appellate courts.
Mr. Shapiro was named as a Super Lawyers New York Metro "Rising Star" in the category of Constitutional Law in 2016 and 2017, and he has been honored as one of The Jewish Week's "36 under 36" up-and-coming leaders in the Jewish community for his work on a number of high-profile pro bono cases. He is a member of the Executive Committee of the American Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists (AAJLJ), the nation's leading professional organization of Jewish lawyers and jurists, and he is the Co-Chair of the AAJLJ's First Amendment/Religious Liberties Committee. Mr. Shapiro was also twice nominated for the Frank Wheat Award, given to Gibson Dunn lawyers who demonstrate leadership and obtain significant results for their pro bono clients, and was awarded for "outstanding service to the goals and objectives" of NACDL for his work on an amicus brief submitted on its behalf to the U.S. Supreme Court in Burt v. Titlow.
Mr. Shapiro earned his Juris Doctor in 2008 from Columbia Law School, where he was a senior editor of the Columbia Law Review, a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar, and a semifinalist in the Harlan Fiske Stone Honors Moot Court competition. After law school, he served as a research assistant to Judge Debra Livingston of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and to Professor Harold Edgar. Mr. Shapiro also received a Master's Degree in Religious Studies from Yale University, where he was a member of the Yale Journal of Law and the Humanities. In 2001, he graduated from Columbia University with a Bachelor of Arts in History. Mr. Shapiro is admitted to practice in the State of New York, before the U.S. District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, and before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
Mr. Shapiro has published articles on constitutional issues in The Wall Street Journal, JURIST, Tablet Magazine, and other publications, and he has been quoted on a variety of legal topics in newspapers ranging from the New York Daily News to the Huffington Post to The Jewish Daily Forward. He regularly gives Continuing Legal Education classes for other lawyers, including on constitutional and complex commercial litigation strategy, brief writing, and deposition techniques, and he lectures on Talmudic narrative and legal theory.
- Author, "Legal Briefs: Bravo-Fernandez v. United States," Cato Institute, June 17, 2016.
- Author, "Is Jerusalem in Israel? Ask the Supreme Court," The Wall Street Journal, Nov. 2, 2014.
- Author, "Burt v. Titlow and the Ineffective Assistance of Counsel Record," JURIST, January 20, 2014.
- Author, "In Defense of Parental Consent for 'Metzitzah B'Peh,'" Jewish Press, Oct. 16, 2013.
- Author, "Don't Fight Circumcision Law," Tablet Magazine, September 21, 2012.
- Author, "Should the Lower Courts Save Taxpayer Standing?," The Journal of Appellate Practice and Process, 10 J. APP. PRAC. & PROCESS 273, 2009.