Seth P. Waxman

Seth P. Waxman
Firm: Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP
Address: 1875 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20006
Phone: (202) 663-6800
Fax: (202) 663-6363
E-mail: Contact Us
Web site:

Position Areas of Practice Bar Admissions
Education Published Works Representative Cases
Lawyer Profile:

Seth P. Waxman is chair of the firm's Appellate and Supreme Court Litigation Practice Group and a partner in the Regulatory and Government Affairs and Litigation/Controversy Departments.

Universally considered to be among the country's premier Supreme Court and appellate advocates, Mr. 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. A Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, he also is a widely respected trial litigator-named as "Bet-the-Company Litigator of the Year" for 2010 by The Best Lawyers in America and by Super Lawyers in 2013 as the "number one" lawyer in Washington DC. Mr. Waxman has been accorded both "star" rating by Chambers USA and "leading lawyer" ranking in PLC's Global Counsel Handbook.

Current Employment Position(s):

Areas of Practice:
Appellate and Supreme Court Litigation
Defense, National Security and Government Contracts
Regulatory and Government Affairs
Public Policy and Strategy
Strategic Support for Transactions
Managing Public Policy Risk
Legislative and Administrative Solutions
Global Capabilities
Congressional, Executive Branch and Multi-State Investigations
Crisis Management/Crisis Communications
Intellectual Property Litigation
Government and Regulatory Litigation
Bar Admissions:
District of Columbia
Yale Law School, New Haven, Connecticut, 1977
Law Journal: Yale Law Journal, Managing Editor

Harvard University, 1973
Honors: summa cum laude

Published Works:
Legal Times: Inadmissible, 2008

Seth Waxman: High Court Gunslinger, 2008

Limits on Patentability in Life Sciences: Claims Covering Expressed Sequence Tags, 2005

The Combatant-Detention Trilogy Through the Lenses of History, 2005

Free Expression in Wartime: Some Reflections on the American Experience, 2004

What Kind of Immunity? Federal Officers, State Criminal Law, and the Supremacy Clause, 2003

Justice Byron R. White, 2003

Federalism, Law Enforcement, and the Supremacy Clause: The Strange Case of Ruby Ridge, 2002

Rebuilding Bridges: The Bar, the Bench, and the Academy, 2002

Needed: Coordination, 2001

Civic Virtue, 2001

Does the Solicitor General Matter?, 2001

In the Shadow of Daniel Webster: Arguing Appeals in the Twenty-first Century, 2000

Defending Congress, 2000

Twins at Birth: Civil Rights and the Role of the Solicitor General, 2000

The Physics of Persuasion, 1999

'Presenting the Case of the United States As It Should Be': The Solicitor General in Historical Context, 1998

Balancing the See-Saw: The Religion Clauses in the Clinton Era, 1996

Volunteer Representation of Death-Row Inmates in Postconviction Proceedings, 1990

Should Federal Rules Limit Character Evidence?, 1980

A Blunt Instrument: Mob Not Only Victim of RICO, 1978

Enforcing a Congressional Mandate: LEAA and Civil Rights, 1976

Representative Cases:
EastBanc (US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit)
Gregory Reyes - former CEO of Brocade Communication Syestems (US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit)
Guantanamo Bay Detainees (US Supreme Court)
Landmark Supreme Court Decisions Grants Guantanamo Detainees Habeas Corpus Rights (US Supreme Court)
McCain, et al
Patchak v. Salazar (D.D.C.) - Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians (known as the Gun Lake Tribe).
The Hartford
TiVo, Inc. (US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit)
WilmerHale Obtains Favorable Ruling for Air Transport Association (US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit)
WilmerHale Secures Victory for KPMG Employees in High-Profile Case (US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit)
WilmerHale Team Secures Land for Gun Lake Tribe
WilmerHale Wins Victory for Pro Bono Client in US Supreme Court (US Supreme Court)
Past Employment Positions:
The Hon. Gerhard A. Gesell, US District Court for the District of Columbia, Clerk, 1977 - 1978

West Practice Categories:
Alternative Dispute Resolution, Arbitration, Bankruptcy Litigation, Class Actions, Complex Litigation, Defense Contracts, Federal Appellate Practice, Federal Claims Court, Federal Contracts, Federal Trial Practice, Government Contracts, Insurance Law, Intellectual Property Law, International Trade Litigation, Litigation & Appeals, Multidistrict Litigation, Patent Litigation, State Appellate Practice, State Trial Practice, Tax Litigation, US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, US Supreme Court

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