1050 Connecticut Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20036-5306 USA
Miguel A. Estrada is a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher.
Mr. Estrada has represented clients before federal and state courts throughout the country in a broad range of matters. He has argued 24 cases before the United States Supreme Court, and briefed many others. He has also argued dozens of appeals in the lower federal courts.
Best Lawyers® recognized Mr. Estrada as a 2022 Lawyer of the Year in Intellectual Property Litigation and as a Lawyer of the Year in Appellate Practice. He has been recognized by Benchmark Litigation as a 2020 U.S. Appellate Litigation “Star”. In 2014, The American Lawyer named Mr. Estrada a “Litigator of the Year,” praising his “brains and tenacity” and noting he is the lawyer to call for “a tough, potentially unwinnable case.” From 2014-2020, Chambers & Partners has named him as one of a handful of attorneys that it ranked in the top tier among the nation’s leading appellate lawyers. Chambers & Partners noted that “clients are impressed by his intellect and ability, with one saying, ‘His papers are just blindingly clear in what they say and devastating in how they marshal the arguments.’” The Atlantic described his oral argument in a 2014 high-profile separation-of-powers case as “one of the most dazzling arguments the marble chamber has heard in many years.”
Mr. Estrada was selected by his peers for inclusion in the 2020 edition of The Best Lawyers in America® in the area of Appellate Law, in addition to previous recognition by the publication in the specialties of Bet-the-Company Litigation, Commercial Litigation and Criminal Defense: White Collar, Intellectual Property Litigation, and Regulatory Enforcement Litigation in the areas of SEC, Telecom, and Energy. In 2017, he was elected as a member of the American Law Institute. In 2019 and 2020, Mr. Estrada was named among the Lawdragon 500 Leading Lawyers in America. In 2004, Legal Times named him one of the top 12 appellate litigators in the D.C. area, noting that “people who follow appellate practice in Washington have known for several years that Estrada . . . is one of the best around.” Also in 2004, Washingtonian Magazine named him one of the top constitutional law lawyers “who could become one of the legends of the Supreme Court bar.”
Mr. Estrada joined Gibson Dunn in 1997, after serving for five years as Assistant to the Solicitor General of the United States. He previously served as Assistant U.S. Attorney and Deputy Chief of the Appellate Section, U.S. Attorney’s Office, Southern District of New York. In those capacities, Mr. Estrada represented the government in numerous jury trials and in many appeals before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Before joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Mr. Estrada practiced corporate law in New York with Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz.
Mr. Estrada is a Trustee of the Supreme Court Historical Society. He was formerly a member of the Board of Visitors of Harvard Law School.
Mr. Estrada served as a law clerk to the Honorable Anthony M. Kennedy in the U.S. Supreme Court from 1988 to 1989 and to the Honorable Amalya L. Kearse in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit from 1986 to 1987. He received a J.D. degree magna cum laude in 1986 from Harvard Law School, where he was editor of the Harvard Law Review. Mr. Estrada graduated with an A.B. degree magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa in 1983 from Columbia College, New York. He is fluent in Spanish and proficient in French.
Representative Supreme Court matters include:
In 2011, the Supreme Court appointed Mr. Estrada to brief and argue two criminal cases –Dorsey v. United States and Hill v. United States – in which the Solicitor General declined to defend the judgments of the court of appeals. Mr. Estrada was appointed to argue the position that the Solicitor General had declined to defend.
Mr. Estrada was also part of the team that successfully presented then Governor Bush’s position to the Supreme Court in Bush v. Gore (2000). Other cases that Mr. Estrada handled in the Supreme Court include Granholm v. Heald (2005) (dormant Commerce Clause and Twenty-First Amendment), Vermont Agency of Natural Resources v. United States ex rel. Stevens (2000) (False Claims Act, Article III standing and Eleventh Amendment immunity), Old Chief v. United States (1997) (rules of evidence), United States v. Mezzanatto (1995) (evidence and plea bargaining), United States v. Robertson (1995) (constitutional limits on Congress’s Commerce Clause powers), Citizens Bank of Maryland v. Strumpf (1995) (bankruptcy law), and NOW, Inc. v. Scheidler (1994) (RICO).
Recent Court of Appeals matters include:
In addition, Mr. Estrada is lead appellate counsel to Vivendi S.A. in two securities-fraud appeals from jury verdicts that are currently pending in the Second Circuit, and to the National Association of Broadcasters in a challenge to certain procedures promulgated by the FCC in connection with the upcoming Spectrum Auction. Mr. Estrada also recently presented argument before the D.C. Circuit on behalf of the tobacco industry in a first amendment challenge to certain compelled disclosures that were imposed as part of the government’s long-running civil RICO case against the industry.
Harvard University - 1986 Juris Doctor
Columbia University - 1983 Bachelor of Arts
District of Columbia Bar
New York Bar