Universally considered to be among the country’s premier Supreme Court and appellate advocates, Seth P. Waxman served as Solicitor General of the United States from 1997 through January 2001.
In addition to leading the firm’s appellate practice, Mr. Waxman engages in a broad litigation and counseling practice, with particular emphasis on complex challenges involving governments or public policy, intellectual property, regulatory, criminal and commercial issues.
Mr. Waxman’s practice spans both federal and state trial and appellate courts. He has delivered 80 oral arguments in the United States Supreme Court and many more in the lower federal and state courts. Mr. Waxman’s clients range from financial institutions to technology, consumer, industrial and media companies, universities and Indian tribes, and he leads the firm’s efforts to counsel tribal governments.
He also represents a number of local, state and national governments and prominent business and government executives and professionals. The recipient of numerous professional awards and honors, Mr. Waxman is among a small handful of practicing attorneys elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
He holds several honorary degrees, as well as the Jefferson Medal in Law, an honor awarded once a year and only rarely to an attorney in private practice. In recognition of exceptional service to law enforcement, Mr. Waxman holds the extraordinary status of permanent honorary Special Agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Mr. Waxman served as president of Harvard’s Board of Overseers from 2010-2011. He was elected to the board in 2005, and has served on its executive committee since 2008. Mr. Waxman also serves on the faculty of the Georgetown University Law Center.
He is a director and fellow of several professional, educational and cultural institutions, including the American College of Trial Lawyers, the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers, the American Bar Foundation, the American Law Institute, the Supreme Court Institute and the Supreme Court Historical Society.
He lectures and writes frequently on topics related to litigation, constitutional history and doctrine, the First Amendment, intellectual property and the Supreme Court.
Mr. Waxman has won landmark rulings in many Supreme Court cases, including Boumediene v. Bush, in which the Court ruled that foreign citizens held at Guantanamo Bay have rights under the Constitution to challenge their detention in US civilian courts; Roper v. Simmons, in which the Court declared unconstitutional the death penalty for juvenile offenders; and McConnell v. FEC, in which the Court sustained the constitutionality of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act. He has also won victories in the Supreme Court for a wide range of business clients, including Medtronic, Monsanto, ABC, Liberty Mutual Insurance, Chase, Ford, Household Credit, and POM Wonderful.
Mr. Waxman represents clients in patent, copyright, trade-secret and other intellectual property litigation, in both trial and appellate courts. He has won multiple consecutive cases in the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit involving complex issues of patent validity, infringement, and licensing.
- JD, Yale Law School, 1977
- Rockefeller Fellow, 1974
- AB, Harvard University, 1973
ADMISSIONS : District of Columbia
CLERKSHIPS : The Hon. Gerhard A. Gesell, US District Court for the District of Columbia, 1977 – 1978
GOVERNMENT EXPERIENCE :
- Department of Justice, Office of the Deputy Attorney General, Acting Deputy Attorney General
- Department of Justice, Office of the Solicitor General, Solicitor General of the United States
- Department of Justice, Office of the Solicitor General, Acting Solicitor General
- Department of Justice, Office of the Solicitor General, Principal Deputy Solicitor General.
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