Tom Goldstein is an appellate advocate, best known as one of the nation’s most experienced Supreme Court practitioners. He has served as counsel to the petitioner or respondent in roughly 10% of all of the Court’s merits cases for the past 15 years (more than 100 in total), personally arguing 35. Tom argued 4 cases in the most recent term, winning all 4. He will argue his 36th and 37th cases in the fall. He has been counsel on more successful petitions for certiorari over the past decade than any other lawyer in private practice.
Perhaps more than any other advocate in practice, Tom represents the complete spectrum of litigants before the Court; his work is not associated with any particular perspective or ideology. For example, as arguing counsel, Tom has prevailed on behalf of corporate defendants (three times), corporate plaintiffs (twice), a putative class (twice), individual plaintiffs (twice), an individual defendant, an immigrant, a bankruptcy debtor, a capital defendant, criminal defendants (three times), employees, persons with disabilities, a class action objector, and a local government.
Tom’s representations span virtually all of federal law. For example, as arguing counsel in the Court, he has prevailed in cases involving age discrimination, arbitration, bankruptcy, class actions, civil procedure, disability law, employment discrimination, free speech (three times), habeas corpus (three times), immigration, labor law, privacy (three times), securities law (twice), and trademark law.
Tom also serves as counsel in particularly significant cases in the courts of appeals. For example, he presently serves as lead counsel for most of the nation's principal retailers in a Second Circuit appeal of the second-largest class action settlement in history; and a major food producer in a D.C. Circuit appeal of an FTC ruling setting standards for health claims in food advertising.
In addition to practicing law, Tom has taught Supreme Court Litigation at Harvard Law School since 2004, and previously taught the same subject at Stanford Law School for nearly a decade. Tom is also the co-founder and publisher of SCOTUSblog – a web-site devoted to comprehensive coverage of the Court – which is the only weblog ever to receive the Peabody Award.
Tom has received a variety of recognitions for his practice before the Supreme Court and for his appellate advocacy generally. For example, in 2010, the National Law Journal named him one of the nation’s 40 most influential lawyers of the decade. The same publication included him in both of its most recent lists (2006 and 2013) of the nation’s 100 most influential attorneys. Legal Times named him one of the “90 Greatest Washington Lawyers of the Last 30 Years.” GQ named him (erroneously) one of the 50 most powerful people in Washington, D.C.
Tom is involved in a variety of professional organizations. Among other things, he is a member of the American Law Institute and an elected Fellow of the Academy of Appellate Lawyers.
Tom previously practiced at Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, where for a time he served as the principal co-chair of the firmwide litigation practice. Early in his career he was an associate at both Boies Schiller and Jones Day Reavis & Pogue. He clerked for Judge Patricia Wald of the D.C. Circuit.