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 a party in roughly 125 merits cases at the Court. He recently argued his 45th. Only 3 lawyers in the Court's modern history have argued more cases in private practice. He has been counsel on more successful petitions for certiorari over the past decade than any other lawyer in private practice. Over the past fifteen years, the firm's petitions for certiorari have been granted at a higher rate than any private law firm or legal clinic.
Tom has repeatedly prevailed as lead appellate and Supreme Court counsel in super-high-stakes matters involving billions of dollars, particularly in questions involving technology, competition, and finance. For example, Tom prevailed as lead Supreme Court counsel for Google in Google v. Oracle, which has been described as the "copyright case of the century." He recently prevailed as appellate counsel for Qualcomm in FTC v. Qualcomm, a seminal antitrust case that challenged essential elements of the company’s business model. He also prevailed as lead counsel to the objectors who invalidated the multi-billion-dollar settlement of the credit card “interchange” litigation.
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 bond purchasers, corporate civil defendants (three times), corporate civil plaintiffs (three times), a debtor, employees (twice), a habeas petitioner (three times), an immigrant, investors, an individual civil defendant, an individual criminal defendant, a local government, navy veterans and their estates, persons with disabilities, and shareholders.
Tom’s representations span virtually all of federal law. For example, as arguing counsel in the Court, he has prevailed in cases involving arbitration, bankruptcy, civil procedure (twice), copyright, disability law, employment discrimination (twice), the Fourth Amendment (twice), free speech (three times), habeas corpus (three times), immigration, labor, maritime torts, securities (twice), and trademarks.
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, Secretary-Elect of the ABA Labor and Employment Section, Vice Chair of the Amicus Committee of the ABA Intellectual Property Section, 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. Tom graduated in 1995 from American University’s Washington College of Law, which subsequently awarded him an Honorary Doctorate as well. He graduated from UNC Chapel Hill in 1992.