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Neal Katyal

Partner
Washington, D.C.

Neal Katyal

Neal Katyal, the former Acting Solicitor General of the United States, focuses on appellate and complex litigation. He has extensive experience in matters of patent, securities, criminal, employment, and constitutional law. Neal has orally argued 35 cases before the Supreme Court of the United States, with 33 of them in the last eight years. In the 2016-17 Term alone, Neal argued seven cases in six separate arguments at the Supreme Court, far more than any other advocate in the nation (the next highest number, four arguments, was reached by two attorneys). At the age of 47, he has already argued more Supreme Court cases in U.S. history than has any minority attorney, breaking the record held by Thurgood Marshall.

Full profile

As Acting Solicitor General, Neal represented the federal government in all appellate matters before the Supreme Court and the Courts of Appeals nationwide. He argued major Supreme Court cases, such as his successful defense of the constitutionality of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, his victorious defense of former Attorney General John Ashcroft for alleged abuses in the war on terror, and his unanimous victory against eight states that sued the nation's leading power plants for contributing to global warming. He served as Counsel of Record hundreds of times in the Supreme Court. He was the only head of the Solicitor General's office to argue a case in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, on the question of whether aspects of the human genome were patentable.

Neal is well-known for winning the landmark decision Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, which challenged the policy of military trials at Guantanamo Bay. The Supreme Court sided with him by a 5-3 vote, finding that President Bush's tribunals violated the constitutional separation of powers, domestic military law, and international law.

In 2011 Neal received the highest award given to a civilian by the U.S. Department of Justice, the Edmund Randolph Award. The Chief Justice of the United States has twice appointed him to the Advisory Committee on Federal Appellate Rules.

Neal has also served as a law professor for nearly two decades at Georgetown University Law Center, where he was one of the youngest professors to have received tenure and a chaired professorship in the university's history.

"One of the finest lawyers who has argued before the Court."

Chief Justice of the United States John Roberts

Education and admissions

Education

  • J.D., Yale Law School, 1995
  • A.B., with highest honors, Dartmouth College, 1991

Bar admissions and qualifications

  • District of Columbia

Court admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 8th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 4th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 2nd Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 6th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 10th Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court

2006-2017

Top 500 Lawyers in America; one of 41 nationwide to win every year; recognized on "Legends" list

Lawdragon Magazine

2013-2017

Appellate Law (Nationwide)

Chambers USA

2013-2017

Dispute Resolution: Appellate: Supreme Court (Federal and State), Leading Lawyer

Legal 500 US

2015

10 Most Innovative Lawyers

Financial Times

2013-2014

Appellate MVP

Law360

2015-2016

Intellectual Property: Copyright

Legal 500 US

2011

Edmund Randolph Award (highest award DOJ can give a civilian)

Department of Justice

2006

Lawyer of the Year

Lawyers USA

2006

Lawyer of the Year, Runner-up

National Law Journal

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