Lori Alvino McGill is a partner at Latham & Watkins and member of the Supreme Court and Appellate Practice. Her practice focuses primarily on appeals in the United States Courts of Appeals and the Supreme Court of the United States. Ms. Alvino McGill has handled civil and criminal matters involving a wide range of constitutional and statutory issues. She also provides pre-litigation counseling to clients in a wide range of matters involving constitutional, statutory and treaty law.
Ms. Alvino McGill was a key member of the team that secured a significant 5-4 victory in the US Supreme Court on behalf of the taxpayers in United States v. Home Concrete & Supply LLC (2012), a case presenting the question whether an understatement of gross income resulting from an overstatement of basis in property constitutes an “omission” from gross income that triggers an extended six-year statute of limitations. The outcome was a rare defeat for the IRS before the Court—in a case that the Wall Street Journal has reported could affect more than a billion US tax dollars.
Ms. Alvino McGill was part of the team that secured a major victory on behalf of the University of California Hastings College of the Law in Christian Legal Society v. Martinez, one of the most closely watched cases decided by the Supreme Court in its 2009-2010 term. The case involved a far-reaching challenge, under the First Amendment’s speech and religion clauses, to the constitutionality of Hastings’ nondiscrimination policy, which requires all school-recognized and funded student groups to admit all registered students, regardless of the students’ status or beliefs. In a 5-4 decision handed down on the last day of the term, the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of Hastings’ policy, holding that it was a reasonable and permissible limitation on speech in the law school’s limited public forum.
Ms. Alvino McGill also helped convince the Court to grant review in Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha et al. v. Regal-Beloit Corporation, on behalf of Union Pacific Railroad Company. This international trade dispute presented the important and fiercely disputed question of whether damage to cargo moving in “intermodal” container shipments, which move first by sea and then by rail or truck in the same sealed containers, would be governed by the Interstate Commerce Act or the Carriage of Goods by Sea Act. The Court ruled (6-3) for Union Pacific in a June 2010 decision holding that shippers would be bound to the venue and limited-liability terms to which they agreed.
Ms. Alvino McGill has also authored appellate briefs in high-profile cases in the US Courts of Appeals and state courts, in a wide range of substantive areas, including securities, intellectual property, First Amendment, criminal law and procedure, the law of federal class actions, and the law of federal jurisdiction. She has also handled numerous appeals involving administrative agencies, including the Federal Communications Commission, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Surface Transportation Board and the Board of Immigration Appeals.
Prior to joining Latham, Ms. Alvino McGill served as a law clerk to Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. She also served as a Bristow Fellow in the Office of the Solicitor General of the United States and as a law clerk to Judge Douglas H. Ginsburg, Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.
Ms. Alvino McGill earned her JD from Columbia Law School, where she was a Kent Scholar, winner of the Class of 1912 Prize and Notes Editor of the Columbia Law Review.
Ms. Alvino McGill is admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of the United States and numerous federal courts of appeals. She is a member of the Edward Coke Appellate Inn of Court, and serves on the D.C. Circuit’s Advisory Committee on Procedures.