Clients praise Mr. Bress as "incredibly creative, and a really strategic thinker" — "a great appellate lawyer," who "handles the appeal in the most efficient manner possible."Chambers USA 2014-2015

Richard P. Bress

Washington, D.C.
  • 555 Eleventh Street, NW
  • Suite 1000
  • Washington, D.C. 20004-1304
  • USA
 
 

Richard Bress, a member of the firm's Executive Committee, specializes in appellate and Supreme Court litigation as well as strategic analysis and briefing in high stakes trial court litigation and agency proceedings.

Mr. Bress has argued scores of appellate cases, including eight in the Supreme Court on a broad range of nationally important matters.

Mr. Bress is recognized as one of the top US appellate and Supreme Court advocates by The Legal 500 US and Chambers USA, which have described him as "'a strong appeals lawyer' who 'provides great representation'" and whose "resume displays an impressive range of experience at the top level." He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Appellate Advocates, and has been recognized consistently by Washingtonian magazine as one of Washington, D.C.'s "Top Appellate Lawyers" and by Best Lawyers as one of the "Best Lawyers in America" in the area of appellate law, based on peer recommendations. In 2013, Mr. Bress was named an “Appellate MVP” by Law360, and in 2015 he was named a “Client Service All-Star” in BTI Consulting Group’s survey of US corporate leaders.

Mr. Bress previously served as an Assistant to the Solicitor General of the United States. During his tenure, he argued several cases before the Supreme Court, drafted more than 100 briefs (including petitions for and briefs in opposition to certiorari) and assisted in the development of the government's position on many federal issues.

Before entering practice, Mr. Bress served as a law clerk to the Honorable Justice Antonin Scalia and D.C. Circuit Judge Stephen F. Williams. He is admitted to the bars of the Supreme Court of the United States and every federal circuit.

Mr. Bress' recent high-profile engagements include the following:

  • NY Statewide Coalition NY Statewide Coalition of Hispanic Chambers of Commerce v. NYC Dep’t of Health & Mental Hygiene, 110 A.D.3d 1 (1st Dep’t 2013). As lead counsel, obtained ruling by New York's high court that the infamous "soda ban" violated the state's constitutional separation of powers.  
  • Exela Pharma Sciences, LLC v. Lee, 781 F.3d 1349 (Fed Circ. 2015); As lead counsel for intervenor, obtained affirmance of dismissal of suit attacking the validity of a patent; Federal Circuit held that the PTO's decision to revive an untimely patent application is not subject to collateral challenge under the APA.
  • BNSF Railway Co. v. Surface Transportation Board, 604 F.3d 602 (D.C. Cir. Jan, 31 2014). As lead counsel, obtained vacatur of largest rate reparations order ever issued against a railroad.
Representative US Supreme Court Experience
  • Mayo Collaborative Services v. Prometheus Laboratories, Inc., 130 S.Ct. 3543 (2010). Lead counsel for respondent in high-profile case addressing the standards for patent-eligibility of medical treatment patents.
  • Monsanto Co. v. Geertson Seed Farms, 130 S.Ct. 2743 (2010). Principal author of successful petition for certiorari and merits briefing in high-profile environmental case reversing the Ninth Circuit and affirming the limits of the court's equitable authority to enter injunctions for NEPA violations.  
  • Morgan Stanley Capital Group Inc. v. Public Utility District No. 1 of Snohomish County, 554 U.S. 527 (2008). Lead counsel for the intervenor in support of petitioners in landmark case reversing the Ninth Circuit and reaffirming that contract rates for wholesale electricity can be modified by FERC only in extraordinary circumstances of public necessity.
  • Safeco Insurance Co. v. Burr, 551 U.S. 47 (2007). Principal author of successful merits briefing for co-petitioner GEICO in case establishing the standard for proving “willfulness” under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
  • Lorillard Tobacco Co. v. Reilly, 533 US 525 (2001). Lead counsel for co-petitioner in successful First Amendment challenge to Massachusetts' regulation of tobacco advertising.
  • Department of Commerce v. House of Representatives, 525 US 316 (1999). A principal author of merits brief for the House of Representatives in its successful challenge to the President's plan to use statistical sampling in the decennial census.
  • Atherton v. United States, 519 US 213 (1997). Successfully argued on behalf of the United States that federal "gross negligence" standard or, if applicable, more stringent state law standards apply in suits addressing whether officers and directors of national banks have satisfied the necessary level of care.
  • Varity Corp. v. Howe, 516 US 489 (1996). Principle author of merits brief for the United States in landmark ERISA case concerning rights of individual employees injured by a plan fiduciary's breach of fiduciary duties.
  • Barnett Bank v. Nelson, 517 US 25 (1996). Successfully argued on behalf of the United States that federal banking statute preempted a state law prohibiting banks from selling insurance products.
  • Curtiss-Wright v. Schoonejongen, 514 US 73 (1995). Successfully argued on behalf of the United States that standard reservation of rights clause in employee benefit plan suffices to preserve sponsor's ability to amend the plan.

Other Representative Appellate Experience

  • InterDigital Communications LLC v. International Trade Commission, 718 F.3d 1336 (Fed. Cir. 2013), vacated as moot by 2014 U.S. LEXIS 2794 (Apr. 21, 2014). As lead counsel, obtained vacatur of ITC order dismissing patent infringement investigation for arbitration; Federal Circuit held that the respondent’s claim of arbitrability was “wholly groundless.”
  • Center for Food Safety v. Vilsack, 718 F.3d 829 (9th Cir. 2013). As lead counsel for intervenor Monsanto Co., successfully defended judgment and obtained precedent-setting ruling affirming Department of Agriculture’s deregulation of genetically engineered crops.
  • Cellco Partnership v. FCC, 700 F.3d 534 (D.C. Cir. 2012). As lead counsel for Leap Wireless and oralist on behalf of intervenor group constituting much of the wireless telecommunications industry, successfully opposed challenge by Verizon Wireless to FCC rule requiring it to provide competitors access to data roaming services.
  • Omnicom Group, Inc. v. 880 West Long Lake Associates, No. 11-2022 (6th Cir. Nov. 9, 2012). As lead counsel, successfully defended trial court judgment in multi-million dollar commercial lease dispute.
  • Center for Food Safety v. Vilsack, No. 11-16564, 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 23466 (9th Cir. Nov. 15, 2012). As lead counsel for Intervenor Monsanto Co., successfully defended judgment dismissing challenge to Department of Agriculture’s issuance of permits for genetically modified crop.
  • Corey Airport Services, Inc. v. Clear Channel Outdoor, Inc., 682 F.3d 1293 (11th Cir. 2012) (per curiam). No. 11-10580. As lead counsel for winning bidder on government contract, obtained complete reversal of Section 1983 judgment, entered upon jury verdict, that had awarded compensatory and punitive damages to losing bidder; Eleventh Circuit held that “political outsider” is not a cognizable class for equal protection purposes.
  • Center for Food Safety v. Vilsack, 636 F.3d 1166 (9th Cir. 2011). As lead counsel for intervenor Monsanto Co., obtained ruling vacating preliminary injunction that barred all cultivation of certain genetically engineered crops.
  • BNSF Railway Co. v. Surface Transportation Board, 604 F.3d 602 (D.C. Cir. 2011). As lead counsel, obtained order requiring agency to reconsider largest rate reparations order ever issued against a railroad.
  • Illumina Inc. v. Affymetrix, Inc., No. 2011-1145, 1146 (Fed. Cir. Aug. 18, 2011). As lead counsel, obtained summary affirmance of district court’s claim construction and judgment of non-infringement.
  • Prometheus Laboratories, Inc. v. Mayo Collaborative Services, 581 F.3d 1336 (Fed. Cir. 2009), rev’d by 130 S.Ct. 3543 (2010). As lead counsel, obtained vacatur of district court dismissal; Federal Circuit held that innovative medical treatment process was patent-eligible.
  • Baden Sports, Inc. v. Molten USA, Inc., 556 F.3d 1300 (Fed. Cir. 2008). As lead counsel, obtained reversal of multi-million dollar false advertising judgment in precedent-setting Lanham Act appeal.
  • E.I. DuPont De Nemours & Co. v. United States, 365 F.3d 1367 (Fed. Cir. 2004). As lead counsel, obtained reversal of judgment and a holding enforcing indemnity against government for environmental cleanup of World War II munitions plant; Federal Circuit held that indemnity was authorized by general appropriation in post-war statute and thus permitted by the Anti-Deficiency Act.
  • United States ex rel. Hampton v. Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp., 318 F.3d 214 (D.C. Cir. 2003). As lead counsel, obtained affirmance of judgment dismissing qui tam suit under first-to-file rule.
  • Landgraff v. Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp., 2002 U.S. App. LEXIS 2334 (6th Cir. 2002). As lead counsel, obtained affirmance of judgment rejecting putative class-action claim in ERISA stock-drop case.
  • ACS of Anchorage, Inc. v. FCC, 290 F.3d 403 (D.C. Cir. 2002). As lead counsel, successfully challenged unlawfully retroactive rate refund awards.
  • Sithe/Independence Power Partners, L.P. v. FERC, 285 F.3d 1 (D.C. Cir. 2002). As lead counsel, successfully challenged FERC order requiring rate refunds.
  • Building Owners & Managers Association, Int’l v. FCC, 254 F.3d 89 (D.C. Cir. 2001). As lead counsel for satellite industry intervenors, successfully defended FCC order authorizing subscribers to erect satellite dishes on leasehold property; D.C. Circuit rejected landlords petitioners’ constitutional takings claim.
  • Sithe/Independence Power Partners, L.P. v. FERC, 165 F.3d 944 (D.C. Cir. 1999). As lead counsel, successfully challenged FERC’s calculation of transmission loss charges.