Gregory Garre is a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of Latham & Watkins and Global Chair of the firm’s Supreme Court & Appellate Practice. Named a 2019 Litigation Star by Benchmark Litigation, a 2016 Appellate MVP by Law360, and 2016 Winning Litigator by the National Law Journal, he is widely considered one of the nation’s top appellate advocates.
Mr. Garre handles a broad array of complex litigation matters at all levels of the federal and state court systems and counsels clients on constitutional, statutory, regulatory, and other legal matters.
Mr. Garre served as the 44th Solicitor General of the United States (2008-2009), after being unanimously confirmed to the position by the US Senate. As Solicitor General, he was the federal government’s top lawyer before the Supreme Court and was responsible for overseeing the government’s litigation in the federal appellate courts. He also served as Principal Deputy Solicitor General (2005-2008) and as an Assistant to the Solicitor General (2000-2004). He is the only person to have held all of those positions within the Office of the Solicitor General.
Mr. Garre has argued 44 cases before the Supreme Court and has briefed and served as counsel of record in hundreds of additional cases before the Court at both the merits and certiorari stage.
Mr. Garre has successfully argued some of the highest profile cases before the Supreme Court during the last 15 years, including Fisher v. University of Texas, Florida v. Georgia, Ashcroft v. Iqbal, Vance v. Ball State University, United States v. Home Concrete & Supply LLC, Maples v. Thomas, Christian Legal Society v. Martinez, FCC v. Fox Television Stations, Inc., Winter v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., Baze v. Rees, and Dastar Corp. v. Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp. In addition, he has filed scores of successful certiorari petitions before the Court, and successfully opposed certiorari on numerous occasions.
Mr. Garre has frequently prevailed in the most hard-fought cases before the Supreme Court. For example, in Florida v. Georgia, the Supreme Court issued a 5-4 decision allowing Florida’s equitable apportionment action against Georgia to proceed, a major win for the state in its battle to save the Apalachicola region. In Fisher v. University of Texas, the Supreme Court issued a 4-3 decision upholding the University of Texas’s admissions program against a constitutional challenge. In Vance v. Ball State University, the Court issued a 5-4 decision in favor of Mr. Garre’s employer client, in one of the most closely watched employment discrimination cases in recent years. And, in United States v. Home Concrete, the Court sided with Mr. Garre’s taxpayer client and handed the IRS a rare defeat in a 5-4 decision that the Wall Street Journal reported could have a billion dollar tax impact.
Mr. Garre also has argued scores of cases before the federal and state courts of appeals. In recent appeals, for example, he secured the reversal of a US$657 million dollar damages award entered against United Technologies Corp. under the False Claims Act, which had been the largest damages award entered for the government under the False Claims Act following a trial. As The American Lawyer wrote, “Gregory Garre convinced a federal appeals court to throw out [the US$657 million award],” “upending a government victory in a roller-coaster case spanning three decades.” (United Technologies Corp. v. US)
Mr. Garre also has handled numerous cases before the Federal Circuit, including in the areas of patent eligibility and claim construction. For example, he secured a complete victory before the Federal Circuit on behalf of WildTangent, Inc. in Ultramercial Inc. v. WildTangent Inc., named by Law360 as one of five patent cases to watch in 2014. In OIP Technologies Inc. v. Amazon.com, he secured the dismissal of a major patent infringement action against Amazon. And he secured a complete win for Amazon.com in another major patent fight in United Video Properties, Inc. v. Amazon.com. Mr. Garre has handled numerous other patent matters, including successful dispositive motions in district court.
Mr. Garre also secured high-profile appellate victories on behalf of one of the country’s largest builders in a major tax appeal in the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (Shea Homes v. Commissioner); a group of leading oil, gas, and other Fortune 100 companies in a major environmental case decided by the US Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit (National Environmental Development Ass’n Clean Air Project v. EPA); and on behalf of Ford Motor Company in a significant preemption case decided by the South Carolina Supreme Court (Priester v. Ford).
In addition, in NJOY v. FDA, Mr. Garre secured a path-marking victory in the D.C. Circuit on behalf of an e-cigarette maker on the scope of the Food and Drug Administration’s regulatory authority over e-cigarettes, which the Wall Street Journal called a “bet-the-industry case.”
Mr. Garre has handled cases involving a wide array of additional matters, including in the areas of administrative law, alien tort statute, antitrust, arbitration, bankruptcy, business and employment and labor law, contract law, civil rights, education, environmental law (Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, and National Environmental Policy Act), First Amendment, Fifth Amendment, food and drug, Indian law, intellectual property (patent, copyright, and trademark), international law, labor, preemption, separation of powers, tax, telecommunications, torts, and voting rights.
Mr. Garre has been consistently recognized as one of the nation’s premier Supreme Court and appellate advocates by Chambers USA, The American Lawyer, The Legal 500 US, Super Lawyers, Benchmark Litigation, and Best Lawyers in America. Chambers USA has repeatedly ranked Mr. Garre in its top-tier for appellate advocates nationwide, recognizing him as a “phenomenal” advocate, especially in “high-stakes issues.”
Mr. Garre has also been named by Washingtonian magazine as one of Washington’s Best Lawyers and included on its list of the Stars of the Bar. In 2006, he was named to The American Lawyer’s Fab 50 list of top litigators under the age of 45 expected to be “leading the field for years to come.” In addition, his appellate briefs have been singled out as exemplary in Point Made: How to Write Like the Nation’s Top Advocates (2011 Oxford University Press), a book highlighting “great writing” by “the most renowned and influential advocates.”
In 2014, Mr. Garre was elected to both the American Law Institute and the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers. In 2012, he was awarded the prestigious Rex Lee Advocacy Award. In 2016, 2014, and 2011, he was recognized by the Financial Times in its US Innovative Lawyers Report. In 2010, he was named Appellate Lawyer of the Week by the National Law Journal for his successful arguments before the Supreme Court in two different cases just eight days apart.
Mr. Garre also has received numerous awards for his public service, including the Attorney General’s Medallion for his service as Solicitor General. He is a recipient of the Attorney General’s Distinguished Service Award, the Attorney General’s Award for Excellence in Furthering Interests of US National Security and additional honors from the Department of Justice for his work on important civil litigation matters. In addition, he received the Navy’s Distinguished Public Service Award — the Navy’s highest civilian honor — for his argument in Winter v. NRDC, which secured a major Supreme Court win for the Navy.
In 2011, the Chief Justice of the United States appointed Mr. Garre to the Standing Committee on the Rules of Practice and Procedure of the Judicial Conference of the United States, the highest rule-making body in the US Judicial System, where he served until 2017. In that capacity, Mr. Garre also served as a liaison member of the Advisory Committee on Appellate Rules.
In 2018, Mr. Garre was appointed to the Board of Directors of the US Chamber Litigation Center, the litigating arm of the US Chamber of Commerce. Mr. Garre has taught constitutional law and Supreme Court practice at the George Washington University Law School, where he delivered the commencement address for the law school in its 150th anniversary year. He has testified before Congress on several occasions and speaks and publishes frequently on issues related to the Supreme Court and appellate practice.
Following his graduation from law school, Mr. Garre served as a law clerk to Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist and to Judge Anthony J. Scirica of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.