Appellate and Constitutional Law



Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher is renowned for its award-winning Appellate and Constitutional Law Practice Group, one of the largest and most experienced appellate practices in the nation. Each year, we present arguments in the Supreme Court of the United States, all 13 federal courts of appeals, and state appellate courts throughout the country. We work closely with trial teams to preserve arguments and develop a winning litigation strategy. When the occasion calls for it, we also develop novel or complex legal theories, sometimes long before the suit is filed. No firm has a stronger record of appellate success.

Renowned U.S. Supreme Court Advocacy

Gibson Dunn has an unmatched record of success representing clients before the Supreme Court of the United States. With its diverse team of Supreme Court practitioners, Gibson Dunn consistently litigates multiple Supreme Court cases each Term, among the most of any firm. We regularly achieve victory in the most challenging cases with the highest stakes.

  • Gibson Dunn lawyers have argued more than 160 cases before the Supreme Court, with thirteen current attorneys having argued at the Court.
  • We build Supreme Court cases from the ground up, working hand-in-hand with trial attorneys to develop a strong record for appellate review and position each case for Supreme Court review if necessary.
  • Our Supreme Court victories have been some of the biggest and most consequential in history
    • Bush v. Gore, which resolved Florida’s recount dispute in the 2000 presidential election.
    • Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which struck down limits on corporate independent expenditures under the First Amendment.
    • Hollingsworth v. Perry, which defeated an effort by the proponents of California’s Proposition 8 to defend the proposition in court.
    • Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes, the most important Supreme Court decision in decades on the limits of certifying claims for class action treatment.
    • Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank International, which reformed the law of patent eligibility.
    • National Labor Relations Board v. Noel Canning, which struck down presidential appointments made while the Senate was in pro forma session.
    • Daimler AG v. Bauman, which recognized important due process limits on courts’ exercise of personal jurisdiction over out-of-state defendants.
    • Murphy v. National Collegiate Athletic Association, which struck down prohibitions on the legalization of sports wagering.
    • Lucia v. Securities and Exchange Commission, which held that SEC administrative law judges are “Officers of the United States” who must be appointed consistent with the Appointments Clause.
    • Department of Homeland Security v. Regents of the University of California, which struck down DHS’s attempt to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

Unparalleled Federal and State Appellate Advocacy

In addition to our Supreme Court practice, Gibson Dunn attorneys handle a wide range of appellate matters in the federal courts of appeals and the state appellate courts.

  • Each year, we brief and argue federal appeals in every regional circuit, the D.C. Circuit, the Federal Circuit, and dozens of state courts of appeals—averaging one appeal approximately every three business days.
  • Our appellate attorneys regularly work alongside the trial team to anticipate legal issues and position our clients for victory on appeal even while the case remains in the trial court. This comprehensive approach to litigation permits us to leverage the wide expertise of lawyers across all of Gibson Dunn’s diverse practices.
  • When government action is at issue, our appellate lawyers work with the firm’s nationally recognized Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice Group. We have achieved significant victories in some of the biggest administrative proceedings across the federal government, including the FCC’s Net Neutrality proceeding and numerous SEC rules regulating the national securities exchanges.

Select Accolades

  • The American Lawyer named Gibson Dunn a Finalist in its 2022 Litigation Department of the Year competition, noting that “when news breaks and the pressure rises, clients call Gibson Dunn’s litigators to regain control.”  This award follows our unprecedented four wins in this biennial competition.  Ted Boutrous also was named 2020 Litigator of the Year, Grand Prize, recognizing that he was “at the center of some of the nation’s most closely watched cases on the First Amendment, the rule of law, privacy and more.”
  • Benchmark Litigation named Gibson Dunn as its 2021 East Coast Appellate Firm of the Year.
  • U.S. News – Best Lawyers® ranked Gibson Dunn in Tier 1 nationwide for Appellate Practice in its 2021 Best Law Firms survey. In 2020 the firm was named “Law Firm of the Year” for Appellate Practice. Only one law firm is recognized in each national practice area.
  • Law360 named Gibson Dunn a 2020 Appellate Group of the Year, for the second year in a row, marking the firm’s ninth appearance on its annual list of top appellate groups since 2011. The publication noted the firm’s representation of Dreamers before the Supreme Court, thereby securing an injunction halting the termination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. In 2019 the publication noted the Gibson Dunn’s “victories in 2019” including a unanimous U.S. Supreme Court ruling.
  • Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business 2021 ranked Gibson Dunn in Tier 1 nationwide for Appellate Law.
  • The National Law Journal named Gibson Dunn to its 2020 Appellate Hot List, which features law firms that “tackled novel issues and undoubtedly overcame unprecedented challenges over the past year, boasting high-profile and high-stakes wins in the nation’s highest appellate courts across a number of practice areas.”
  • The American Lawyer ranked Gibson Dunn on its 2020 A-List, its most prestigious annual survey of the most elite law firms in the United States.

Our Team

Gibson Dunn has more than 200 lawyers who practice appellate and constitutional law in our offices across the United States, and is home to more than 200 attorneys who served as law clerks in the federal and state appellate courts, including more than 20 who clerked at the U.S. Supreme Court. In addition, two of our lawyers held the prestigious Bristow Fellowship awarded by the U.S. Solicitor General.

Allyson Ho and Mark Perry are the Chairs of the Appellate Practice Group. Both are widely regarded as among the nation’s most accomplished appellate litigators. Ms. Ho has presented over 70 oral arguments in federal and state courts nationwide, including multiple high-stakes cases on behalf of business before the U.S. Supreme Court. She also has a distinguished record of experience at the highest levels of the federal government. Mr. Perry has briefed and argued many cases in the Supreme Court of the United States—including the landmark decisions in Lucia v. SEC, Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank, and Janus Capital Group v. First Derivative Traders—and more than 100 cases in the federal courts of appeals. He has served as chief appellate counsel to Fortune 100 companies in significant securities, intellectual property, and employment cases.

Three of our partners served in the Office of the Solicitor General of the United States, the office charged with representing the United States before the U.S. Supreme Court:

  • Theodore Olson served as U.S. Solicitor General from 2001 to 2004. Between his government service and private practice, Mr. Olson has argued 65 cases before the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • Miguel Estrada served as Assistant to the Solicitor General from 1992 to 1997. Between his government service and private practice, Mr. Estrada has argued 24 cases before the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • Thomas G. Hungar served as Deputy Solicitor General from 2003 to 2008, and as Assistant to the Solicitor General from 1992 to 1994. He was also General Counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives from 2016 to 2019. Between his government service and private practice, Mr. Hungar has argued 26 cases before the U.S. Supreme Court.

In addition, Kyle Hawkins served as Solicitor General for the State of Texas from 2018 to 2021, and numerous other partners have held high-ranking government positions, including Helgi Walker, Elizabeth Papez, and Tom Dupree.

Our attorneys have been honored as the “Litigator of the Week” or “Litigator of the Year” by The American Lawyer numerous times:

  • In June 2019, Matt McGill was awarded Litigator of the Week for his successful challenge to the Department of Justice’s reinterpretation of interstate gambling statute.
  • In August 2018, Miguel Estrada and Robert Weigel were recognized as Litigators of the Week for their success in seeking to attach assets of Venezuela to satisfy an arbitration award (in a decision that was later upheld by the Third Circuit).
  • In November 2018, Ted Olson and Ted Boutrous were awarded Litigators of the Week for their successful challenge to the White House’s revocation of the press pass of CNN’s Jim Acosta. Ted Boutrous was recognized again in September 2019 for a similar victory involving Playboy White House reporter Brian Karem.
  • In May 2018, Ted Olson was recognized as Litigator of the Week for his victory in the Supreme Court overturning the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992.
  • In 2014, Miguel Estrada was awarded Litigator of the Year for, among other things, his groundbreaking win before the Supreme Court in NLRB v. Noel Canning.


  • In FCC v. Prometheus Radio Project (U.S. 2021), we successfully represented industry members in defending the FCC’s decision to repeal or modify three of its media ownership rules.
  • In Department of Homeland Security v. Regents of the University of California (U.S. 2020), we secured a decision vacating the Trump administration’s effort to repeal the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy and protecting over a million participants in the program from deportation and revocation of work authorization.
  • In Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico v. Aurelius Investment, LLC (U.S. 2020), we challenged the appointment of members of a federally-appointed financial oversight board for Puerto Rico as contrary to the Appointments Clause of the U.S. Constitution.
  • In Lucia v. SEC (U.S. 2018), we persuaded the Supreme Court that the Securities and Exchange Commission’s administrative law judges are “Officers of the United States” who must be appointed in conformity with the Appointments Clause of the U.S. Constitution.
  • In three cases named The Nasdaq Stock Market, LLC v. SEC (D.C. Cir. 2020), we secured rulings vacating the SEC’s Transaction Fee Pilot program and holding that Section 19(d) of the Securities Exchange Act does not authorize the SEC to review generally applicable fee rules filed by exchanges.
  • In Standard Fire Insurance Co. v. Knowles (U.S. 2013), we secured a unanimous Supreme Court decision for Standard Fire enforcing the Class Action Fairness Act.
  • In Comcast Corp. v. Behrend (U.S. 2013), we secured a victory for Comcast when the Supreme Court reversed an order certifying a class of more than two million Comcast subscribers and placed new limits on classwide damages.
  • In Wal-Mart v. Dukes (U.S. 2011), we obtained a landmark victory for the world’s largest retailer when the Supreme Court unanimously reversed class certification of the biggest employment discrimination class in history.
  • In Harris v. Union Pacific Railroad Company (8th Cir. 2019), we secured a ruling that the district court abused its discretion when it certified a sprawling class of more than 7, 000 Union Pacific Railroad Company employees.
  • In Murphy v. National Collegiate Athletic Association (U.S. 2018), we convinced the Supreme Court to invalidate federal limits on sports gambling as inconsistent with federalism and anti-commandeering principles.
  • In NLRB v. Noel Canning (U.S. 2014), on behalf of Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and 44 other U.S. Senators, we persuaded the Supreme Court to unanimously affirm a landmark separation-of-powers decision that held unconstitutional three 2012 appointments to the National Labor Relations Board.
  • In Hollingsworth v. Perry (U.S. 2013), Gibson Dunn obtained a historic marriage equality victory that left intact the district court’s broad injunction against the enforcement of California Proposition 8, an amendment to the California Constitution restricting marriage in the state to between one man and one woman.
  • In Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (U.S. 2010), Gibson Dunn obtained a groundbreaking campaign finance victory that established the first Amendment rights of corporations to engage in political speech.
  • In Bush v. Gore (U.S. 2000), and Bush v. Palm Beach County Canvassing Board (U.S. 2000), Gibson Dunn successfully served as lead counsel for candidate George W. Bush in federal court litigation stemming from the disputed ballot counting in Florida during the 2000 U.S. presidential election, prevailing on equal protection grounds.
  • In Coventry Health Care of Missouri, Inc. v. Nevils (U.S. 2017), we obtained a victory for Coventry when the Supreme Court unanimously held that the Federal Employee Health Benefits Act preempts state laws that purport to regulate the administration of federal health benefits.
  • In Commonwealth of Puerto Rico v. Franklin California Tax-Free Trust (U.S. 2016), we obtained a Supreme Court ruling in favor of our client, holding that Puerto Rico’s Public Corporation Debt and Recovery Act, which purported to create a binding bankruptcy-like debt-restructuring regime for the Commonwealth’s highly indebted public entities, was preempted by federal law.
  • In Aetna Health Inc. v. Davila (U.S. 2004), we won a landmark victory for Aetna and CIGNA when the Supreme Court unanimously held that the Employee Retirement Insurance Security Act of 1974 completely preempts state-law actions by participants and beneficiaries of employee health benefit plans for matters relating to the plans’ coverage decision.
  • In Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank International (U.S. 2014), we obtained a unanimous Supreme Court victory holding that Alice Corporation’s financial service software patent was patent-ineligible because it was drawn to the abstract idea of intermediated settlement.
  • In Microsoft Corp. v. i4i Ltd. Partnership (U.S. 2011), we represented Microsoft in an important Supreme Court case setting the standard for providing patent invalidity as an affirmative defense.
  • In BNSF Railway v. Tyrrell (U.S. 2017), we secured an 8-1 decision for BNSF that established that a state may not exercise general personal jurisdiction over a railroad simply because the railroad does business in that state.
  • In Daimler AG v. Bauman (U.S. 2014), we won a unanimous judgment for Daimler that the U.S. Constitution prohibits a U.S. court from exercising general personal jurisdiction over a non-U.S. corporation with no employees or facilities in the United States.
  • In Opati v. Sudan (U.S. 2020), we secured a unanimous ruling that victims of terrorists attacks and their families may obtain punitive damages under federal law for acts of terrorism predating 2008.
  • In Bank Markazi v. Peterson (U.S. 2016), we persuaded the Supreme Court to uphold and enforce a federal statute making certain sovereign assets available for attachment by victims of terrorism.
  • In Republic of Argentina v. NML Capital, Ltd. (U.S. 2014), we obtained a ruling that a foreign sovereign’s extraterritorial assets are not immune from discovery under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act.
  • In Crystallex v. Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela (3rd Cir. 2019), we won a victory in the Third Circuit holding that the assets of Venezuela’s state-owned petroleum company are subject to attachment.
  • In Rimini Street Inc. v. Oracle USA Inc. (U.S. 2019), we secured a unanimous decision that the Copyright Act permits the prevailing party to recoup only a limited subset of the costs of the prevailing party.
  • In Wisconsin Central, Ltd. v. United States (U.S. 2018), we convinced the Supreme Court that stock options are not “compensation” under the Railroad Retirement Tax Act of 1937 because they are not “money remuneration” within the meaning of the statute.


Gibson Dunn Named a 2021 Firm of the Year

-January 19, 2022

Supreme Court Stays OSHA Vaccine-Or-Testing Mandate

-January 13, 2022

New York Court of Appeals Round-Up & Preview

-December 20, 2021

The Two Teds – Episode 6 – The Supreme Court’s Current Term

-December 21, 2021

Supreme Court Round-Up (November 2021)

-November 30, 2021

Best Lawyers® Names Gibson Dunn Appellate Law Firm of the Year for 2022

-November 4, 2021

Gibson Dunn Promotes 27 Lawyers to Partnership

-November 4, 2021

Third Quarter 2021 Update on Class Actions

-November 2, 2021

Richard Birns and Theodore Olson Named Sports Law Power Players

-October 29, 2021

The National Law Journal Names Gibson Dunn to 2021 Appellate Hot List

-October 21, 2021

Who’s Who Legal 2021 Recognizes Eight Gibson Dunn Partners in Commercial Litigation

-October 19, 2021

Benchmark Litigation US 2022 Gives Top Marks to Gibson Dunn

-October 13, 2021

The Two Teds – Episode 5 – DACA, Dreamers and Immigration

-October 13, 2021

Gibson Dunn Named Patent Litigation Firm of the Year by LMG Life Sciences

-September 23, 2021

California Supreme Court Reinforces Strong Presumption Against Liability for Companies Hiring Independent Contractors Based on Injuries to Contract Workers

-September 10, 2021

Federal Circuit Update (August 2021)

-September 8, 2021

Second Quarter 2021 Update on Class Actions

-August 23, 2021

Randy Mastro and Akiva Shapiro Named Litigators of the Week

-August 23, 2021

Supreme Court Enjoins Enforcement of New York State’s Eviction Moratorium

-August 13, 2021

Alice at Six: Patent Eligibility Comes of Age

-August 4, 2021

Federal Circuit Update (July 2021)

-August 2, 2021

Supreme Court Round-Up (July 2021)

-July 9, 2021

Federal Circuit Update (June 2021)

-July 6, 2021

Supreme Court Holds That California’s Donor Disclosure Law Violates The First Amendment

-July 1, 2021

Supreme Court Holds That Private Parties Can Sue States To Seize State Property Along Federally Approved Pipeline Routes

-June 29, 2021

Supreme Court Upholds, But Limits, The Doctrine Of Patent Assignor Estoppel

-June 29, 2021

The Two Teds – Episode 4 – Marriage Equality

-June 30, 2021

Supreme Court Holds That Article III Requires All Class Members To Prove An Injury In Fact To Recover Damages

-June 25, 2021

Supreme Court Upholds Broad Eligibility For Small Refineries Seeking Hardship Exemptions From Compliance With The EPA’s Renewable Fuel Standards

-June 25, 2021

Supreme Court Holds Federal Housing Finance Agency’s Structure Unconstitutional; Remands For Further Proceedings On Appropriate Remedy

-June 23, 2021

Supreme Court Holds That The Constitution Requires Administrative Review of PTAB Decisions

-June 21, 2021

Supreme Court Holds That Sherman Act Bars NCAA From Limiting Education-Related Benefits For Student-Athletes

-June 21, 2021

Supreme Court Tells Second Circuit To Clarify Securities Class Certification Ruling, And Holds That Defendants Have The Burden Of Persuasion In Rebutting The Basic Presumption

-June 21, 2021

New York Court of Appeals Adds Two New Judges

-June 21, 2021

Supreme Court Holds That The First Amendment Prohibits Philadelphia From Requiring Catholic Foster-Placement Agency To Certify Same-Sex Couples As Foster Parents

-June 17, 2021

Supreme Court Rejects A Challenge To The Affordable Care Act’s Individual Mandate Because Plaintiffs Have No Standing

-June 17, 2021

Supreme Court Limits Extraterritorial Reach Of The Alien Tort Statute

-June 17, 2021

Webcast: The Supreme Court’s Omnicare Decision: A Key Tool for Defending Securities Litigation Brought Against Life Sciences Companies

-June 16, 2021

New York Court of Appeals Clarifies Reach of New York Consumer Protection Statute

-June 9, 2021

Federal Circuit Update (May 2021)

-June 8, 2021

Supreme Court Narrows Scope Of Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Holding It Does Not Prohibit Accessing Otherwise Available Information For An Improper Purpose

-June 3, 2021

Supreme Court Holds That Only Superfund-Specific Settlements Can Trigger Contribution Under CERCLA Section 113(f)(3)(B)

-May 25, 2021

Gibson Dunn Earns 94 Top-Tier Rankings in Chambers USA 2021

-May 20, 2021

Supreme Court Holds That Anti-Injunction Act Does Not Bar Pre-Enforcement Challenges To Reporting Mandates Backed By Both Tax Penalties And Criminal Punishment

-May 17, 2021

Supreme Court Confirms That Appellate Courts Have Broad Authority To Review Entirety Of Appealable Remand Orders

-May 17, 2021

Appeals 2021: United States

-May 6, 2021

Federal Circuit Update (April 2021)

-May 3, 2021

Supreme Court Restricts Power Of The Federal Trade Commission To Seek Monetary Relief In Courts

-April 22, 2021

The Two Teds – Episode 3 – The First Amendment

-April 19, 2021

Federal Circuit Update (March 2021)

-April 5, 2021

Supreme Court Holds That Google’s Use Of Oracle’s Java Software Interface Is Fair Use

-April 5, 2021

Former Solicitor General of Texas Kyle Hawkins Returns to Gibson Dunn

-April 5, 2021

Thomas Dupree Named Litigator of the Week

-April 5, 2021

Gibson Dunn Wins Six Awards at 2021 Benchmark Litigation US Awards Ceremony

-April 5, 2021

Supreme Court Declines To Extend Telephone Consumer Protection Act’s Coverage Of Automatic Telephone Dialing Systems

-April 1, 2021

Supreme Court Holds That FCC Permissibly Relaxed Media Ownership Limits

-April 1, 2021

The Two Teds – Episode 2 – Bush v Gore and Election Litigation

-March 18, 2021

The Two Teds – Episode 1 – Opening Statements

-March 17, 2021

Federal Circuit Update (February 2021)

-March 3, 2021

The Case of the Century – The French Administrative Court Issues a Groundbreaking Ruling on State Responsibility for Climate Change

-February 26, 2021

Three Gibson Dunn Cases Named Top Verdicts of the Year 2020

-February 16, 2021

Federal Circuit Update (January 2021)

-February 1, 2021

First Circuit Narrows Scope of the Wire Act, Reversing Office of Legal Counsel Opinion

-January 27, 2021

California Attorney General End of Term Update

-January 25, 2021

Year-End and Fourth Quarter 2020 Update on Class Actions

-January 22, 2021

Five Gibson Dunn Attorneys Named Among Washingtonian Magazine’s 2020 Top Lawyers

-January 21, 2021

Webcast: Supreme Court Roundup

-January 19, 2021

Invalid appointments and the restoration of DACA

-January 7, 2021

2019/2020 Federal Circuit Year in Review

-January 11, 2021

Tips for District Court Amicus Brief Success

-December 23, 2020

Supreme Court Holds That ERISA Does Not Preempt Arkansas’ Law Regulating Pharmacy Reimbursement Rates

-December 10, 2020

New York Court of Appeals Round-Up & Preview

-December 7, 2020

Holocaust Survivors Deserve Their Day in Court

-December 6, 2020

Gibson Dunn Named a 2020 Firm of the Year

-December 2, 2020

Gibson Dunn Secures Landmark Supreme Court Decision Enjoining COVID-19 Restrictions On Houses of Worship

-November 30, 2020

The National Law Journal Names Gibson Dunn to 2020 Appellate Hot List

-November 3, 2020

The Jurisprudence of Supreme Court Nominee Amy Coney Barrett

-October 22, 2020

Benchmark Litigation US 2021 Gives Top Marks to Gibson Dunn

-October 16, 2020

Supreme Court Round-Up (October 2020)

-October 5, 2020

Law360 Names Eight Gibson Dunn Partners as 2020 MVPs

-October 5, 2020

Supreme Court Round-Up (September 2020)

-September 15, 2020

Matthew McGill Named a Washington, D.C. Trailblazer

-September 9, 2020

California Supreme Court Round-Up – August 2020

-August 21, 2020

California Supreme Court Announces 7-Factor “Good Cause” Test for Third-Party Subpoenas

-August 14, 2020

California Supreme Court Answers Important Questions About The Bounds Of Legitimate Business Competition Under California Tort And Antitrust Law

-August 4, 2020

INSIGHT: The SEC’s Failing Report Card on Regulatory Losses

-August 4, 2020

Developments in Immigration and Customs Enforcement of Foreign Student Visa Policy Under COVID-19

-August 3, 2020

Supreme Court quietly eliminates critical constitutional protections

-July 21, 2020

Supreme Court 2019 Term – Summary Of Decisions Affecting Business Litigation

-July 20, 2020

Supreme Court Round-Up (July 2020)

-July 15, 2020

U.S. Supreme Court to Weigh FTC Restitution Authority

-July 13, 2020

Ninth Circuit Asks The New York Court of Appeals Whether Litigation Financing Agreements Are “Usurious”

-July 10, 2020

Supreme Court Upholds TCPA’s Robocall Ban, But Strikes Government-Debt Exception As Unconstitutional Under First Amendment

-July 6, 2020

Westlaw: Recent Constitutional Litigation Challenging Governmental Responses to the COVID-19 Pandemic

-July 6, 2020

California Supreme Court Answers Critical Questions on Jurisdictional Scope of Certain Labor Laws and Minimum Wage Compliance for Employers Utilizing Non-Hourly Wage Units

-July 1, 2020

Supreme Court Holds That Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Structure Is Unconstitutional

-June 29, 2020

California Supreme Court Holds That District Attorneys May Seek Statewide Civil Penalties and Restitution Under Unfair Competition Law

-June 26, 2020

High Court Should Review Goldman’s Maintenance Theory

-June 25, 2020

Supreme Court Limits Disgorgement Remedy In SEC Civil Enforcement Actions

-June 22, 2020

COVID-19 Is No Excuse for Suspicionless Searches of Electronic Devices at the Border

-June 22, 2020