Paul Hughes is a partner in Mayer Brown’s Supreme Court & Appellate practice in Washington DC. He briefs and argues complex appeals, and he develops legal strategy for trial litigation. Paul is also a Visiting Clinical Lecturer in Law at the Yale Law School, where he co-teaches Yale’s Supreme Court Advocacy Clinic.
Paul has argued before the US Supreme Court twice, before en banc sittings of the Ninth and Tenth Circuit, and before panels of the First, Third, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh, DC, and Federal Circuits. Paul has handled over 190 appellate matters, more than 120 of which were in the US Supreme Court.
Paul’s work has been featured in a variety of publications, including the American Lawyer, Bloomberg BNA, the Daily Beast, Forbes, the Guardian, MSNBC, the National Law Journal, the New Yorker, NPR’s All Things Considered, and the Washington Post. And his work contributed to Mayer Brown’s inclusion in The National Law Journal’s 2017 Appellate Hot List as well as the 2017 Pro Bono Hot List.
Paul has significant experience with intellectual property appeals. He recently argued a trademark matter in the US Supreme Court, Hana Financial, Inc. v. Hana Bank, No. 13-1211. He has handled more than 30 cases in the Federal Circuit. Recent successes include Rapid Litig. Mgmt. Ltd. v. CellzDirect, Inc., 827 F.3d 1042 (Fed. Cir. 2016), and B.E. Technology, L.L.C. v. Google, Inc. (No. 15-1883).
Additionally, Paul often litigates appeals involving banking and securities law. He recently argued and won a transnational financial case (Toumazou v. HSBC, No. 14-7170) in the DC Circuit. Paul obtained an interlocutory victory in Retirement Board of the Policemen’s Annuity and Benefit Fund v. The Bank of New York Mellon, 775 F.3d 154 (2d Cir. 2014), a closely-watched case involving the Trust Indenture Act.
Paul maintains an active pro bono practice, where he regularly represents civil rights litigants, immigrants, and criminal defendants in appellate matters. In February 2017, the American Lawyer named Paul “Litigator of the Week” in connection with his work relating to immigration.
In 2016, Paul prevailed in Ross v. Blake, 136 S. Ct. 1850 (2016), before the US Supreme Court. A critical decision with respect to the Prison Litigation Reform Act, Empirical SCOTUS identified Blake as one of five decisions from October Term 2015 that is “making waves in the lower courts” and will have among “the greatest downstream effects.”
Prior to joining Mayer Brown, Paul served as a law clerk to the Honorable Diana Gribbon Motz, US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.
Paul received his JD from the Yale Law School, where he served as a senior editor of the Yale Law Journal
and was the recipient of the C. LaRue Munson Prize and the Chubb Prize. He received his MA in International Law & Politics, with distinction, and AB, summa cum laude
, from Georgetown University.