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Kenneth S. Geller

Kenneth S. Geller

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Mayer Brown’s Supreme Court & Appellate practice recognized among the “elite of the elite”

– Reuters Special Report

"...'a standout lawyer in a very talented group'...'extremely experienced and seasoned, with superb judgment.'"

Chambers USA 2006

Kenneth Geller is a leading member of the Supreme Court & Appellate practice. Ken has written or edited some 300 briefs and certiorari petitions, argued more than 40 cases before the US Supreme Court, and briefed and argued cases in most of the US courts of appeals and many state supreme courts. Chambers USA 2007 has described him as “both incredibly organized and wonderfully clear. He is superb when you need someone to take a highly complex area of law and distill it to its essence.”

Recently, Ken was named one of the Benchmark 2013 Appellate National and Washington DC Litigation Stars and has been listed among The Best Lawyers in America in the area of Appellate Law. Chambers USA 2004 named him to the top band of its “America’s Leading Lawyers for Business” list, noting that “Ken Geller has over 40 Supreme Court arguments under his belt, many of them for household names such as Ford, Chrysler and GM. ‘Never less than immaculately prepared,’ reported market observers, his is a familiar face in the highest courts.”

Ken joined Mayer Brown in 1986, was named Vice Chairman of the firm in 2007 and was Managing Partner from 2009-2018. He was Partner-in-Charge of Mayer Brown’s Washington DC office between 1995 and 2007 and has been a member of the firm’s Management Committee since 1995.

Prior to joining the firm, Ken served as Deputy Solicitor General in the US Department of Justice (1979-1986) and as Assistant to the Solicitor General (1975-1979). In 1983, while serving as Deputy Solicitor General, Ken received the Presidential Award for Distinguished Service in the field of law. Between 1973 and 1975, he worked as an Assistant Special Prosecutor for the federal government’s Watergate Special Prosecution Force and was involved in trial, grand jury and appellate work related to the Watergate criminal prosecutions. Previously, he worked with a law firm in New York and, between 1971 and 1972, served as Law Clerk to The Honorable Walter R. Mansfield, US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

Ken is co-author of Supreme Court Practice (10th ed. 2013), the preeminent treatise in its field, as well as the Supreme Court chapters in Business and Commercial Litigation in Federal Courts (3d ed. 2011) and Federal Appellate Practice (2008). He is particularly experienced in the areas of federal preemption of state law (see, e.g., Buckman Co. v. Plaintiffs’ Legal Committee, 531 U.S. 341 (2001); Bryant v. Medtronic, Inc., 623 F.3d 1200 (8th Cir. 2010)), constitutional law (see, e.g., American Insurance Ass’n v. Garamendi, 539 U.S. 396 (2003)), and judicial review of administrative action (see, e.g., Heckler v. Chaney, 470 U.S. 821 (1985); SEC v. O’Brien, 467 U.S. 735 (1984)). Ken is a frequent speaker at conferences on appellate advocacy, Supreme Court practice and product liability law, especially federal preemption of state tort claims.
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