Daniel M. Kolkey focuses his practice on appellate litigation. He is a partner in the San Francisco office of the law firm, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher since 2003. He is also a chairperson of the firm’s California Appellate Law Practice Group. He is a member of its national appellate and constitutional law practice group. He is also a member of the Litigation Department.
He has served as an Associate Justice on the California Court of Appeal, Third Appellate District, and as Counsel to the Governor of California. The Chambers USA ranked him in the first tier for California Appellate Litigation in consecutive years from 2010 to 2017.
He has also won the prestigious Clay Award as an Attorney of the Year for his extraordinary achievement in the fields of Public Policy, Appellate law, Real Estate and Development, and Sports Law in the years 2004, 2006, 2015, and 2016, respectively.
He served as an Associate Justice on the California Court of Appeal in the Third Appellate District in Sacramento for five years from 1999 to 2003. He also served as a Legal Affairs Secretary and counsel to Governor Pete Wilson for four years.
He has advised four different governors on legal issues. He has also acted as Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s lead negotiator for tribal-state compacts under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.
The California Chief Justice appointed attorney Daniel Kolkey to the California Judicial Council’s Appellate Advisory Committee in 2010. The Chief Justice re-appointed him to the second and the third term in 2013 and 2016 respectively.
He resumed the position of the chairperson of the Appellate Advisory Committee’s Appellate Rules subcommittee in October 2013. This subcommittee recommends revisions to the appellate rules for the California Courts.
Attorney Kolkey served as a litigator before and after his government service from 1995 to 2003. He handled matters related to class and shareholder actions, construction, insurance, real estate, employment, and contract disputes.
He also dealt with Proposition 65 litigation, unfair competition litigation, legal malpractice defense, and California environmental law litigation. He also looked into administrative law cases, and political law litigation cases such as ballot litigation, Voting Rights Act claims, and redistricting matters.
He has been instrumental in drafting the California initiative measures that included Proposition 20 (congressional redistricting reform), adopted by the voters in 2010. He has also been a part of outlining Proposition 54 (the Legislature Transparency Act), ratified by the voters in 2016.
While serving as a Legal Affairs Secretary and counsel to Governor Pete Wilson, he gave legal advice, approved state agency appeals, supervised and directed litigation strategy for lawsuits against the Governor. He also drafted the Governor’s civil justice reform legislation and negotiated tribal-state compacts under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.
He has also practiced international arbitration. In this capacity, he has handled matters under the English Arbitration Acts. He has represented his clients before the International Chamber of Commerce, the American Arbitration Association, and the Iran-United States Claim Tribunal.
He completed his B.A., with distinction and departmental honors, from the prestigious Stanford University in 1974. He later obtained his J.D., magna cum laude, from the reputed Harvard Law School in 1977.
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