Blake Stafford is an associate in the Washington, D.C. office and a member of the firm’s Supreme Court & Appellate Practice.

Mr. Stafford primarily handles Supreme Court and appellate litigation. He represents clients in a broad range of matters in state and federal appellate courts, including several matters in the US Supreme Court. He also assists with strategic analysis and dispositive briefing in high-stakes trial court litigation and regulatory proceedings.

Mr. Stafford’s litigation experience encompasses a wide variety of substantive legal issues. He has successfully represented clients in matters involving precedent-setting questions of:

  • Administrative law
  • Securities regulation
  • Environmental law
  • Antitrust
  • Constitutional law
  • Torts
  • Federal civil procedure
  • Contract interpretation

Mr. Stafford led the certiorari and merits briefing and served as second chair in Guam v. United States (2021), securing a unanimous Supreme Court victory on behalf of the Government of Guam in a complex statutory-interpretation case under the Comprehensive Environmental, Response Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA). He also led the briefing in NOVA v. Secretary of Veterans Affairs (2020), successfully urging the en banc Federal Circuit to overturn circuit precedent restricting veterans’ rights to challenge rules promulgated by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Prior to joining Latham full-time, Mr. Stafford clerked for Judge Jay S. Bybee of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and was a summer associate in the Washington, D.C. office.

Mr. Stafford earned his JD at Wake Forest University School of Law, where he graduated magna cum laude and first in his class. In 2016, he won the James F. Hoge Award for Best Student Submission to the Wake Forest Law Review. He also competed as a member of Wake Forest’s national moot court team, which won the overall National Championship and the Best Brief Award at the 2017 NYC Bar Association National Moot Court Competition.

Thought Leadership

  • Recurring Panelist, “Quarterly Supreme Court Update,” Federal Bar Association, Capitol Hill Chapter (2020-2021)
  • Author, “US Congress Affirms and Expands SEC’s Disgorgement Authority in Annual Defense Spending Bill,” Latham & Watkins Client Alert (January 2021)
  • Author, “US Supreme Court Upholds SEC’s Authority to Seek Disgorgement,” Latham & Watkins Client Alert (June 2020)
  • Author, “Supreme Court to Review SEC’s Authority to Seek Disgorgement,” Latham & Watkins Client Alert (November 2019)
  • Riding the Line Between “Employee” and “Independent Contractor” in the Modern Sharing Economy, 51 Wake Forest L. Rev. 1223 (2016) 

Blake Stafford's representative experience includes:

  • Guam v. United States, 141 S. Ct. 1608 (2021): Secured certiorari and unanimous reversal on behalf of Guam in US Supreme Court case raising significant and complex statutory interpretation questions under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA)
  • National Organization of Veterans’ Advocates, Inc. v. Secretary of Veterans Affairs, 981 F.3d 1360 (Fed. Cir. 2020) (en banc): Obtained initial hearing en banc and 11-0 victory in the Federal Circuit on multiple jurisdictional issues regarding the reviewability of rules promulgated by the Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Gonzalez v. Mathis, 493 P.3d 212 (Cal. 2021): Achieved unanimous victory in the California Supreme Court on behalf of singer Johnny Mathis in an important tort case concerning the scope of landowner liability for injured independent contractors
  • Lanzo v. Cyprus Amax Minerals Co., 254 A.3d 691 (N.J. App. Div. 2021): Obtained unanimous reversal of US$36 million jury verdict against Imerys Talc America in precedent-setting decision by the New Jersey Appellate Division concerning expert testimony in talcum-powder asbestos litigation
  • Gray v. Wilkie, 139 S. Ct. 2764 (2019): Obtained grant of certiorari in the US Supreme Court on behalf of Navy veteran challenging Federal Circuit decision denying jurisdiction to review rules promulgated by the Department of Veterans Affairs; the Supreme Court ultimately vacated the Federal Circuit’s judgment after the case became moot

Bar Qualification

  • District of Columbia
  • Virginia

Education

  • JD, Wake Forest University School of Law, 2017
    Order of the Coif, magna cum laude
  • MS, Louisiana State University, 2014
  • BA, Louisiana State University, 2013

Languages Spoken

  • English