"...'a standout lawyer in a very talented group'...'extremely experienced and seasoned, with superb judgment.'"Chambers USA
When representing clients, Kenneth Geller draws on deep experience, having written or edited around 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.
His counsel is also informed by years of government service. Prior to joining Mayer Brown, 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 (11th ed. 2019), the preeminent treatise in its field, as well as the Supreme Court chapters in Business and Commercial Litigation in Federal Courts (5th ed. 2021) 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.
Ken joined Mayer Brown in 1986, was named Vice Chairman of the firm in 2007 and was Managing Partner from 2009 to 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.
Harvard Law School, JD, magna cum laude
Editor, Harvard Law Review
The City College of The City University of New York, BA, magna cum laude
- US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
- US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
- US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
- US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
- US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
- US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
- US Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
- US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
- US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
- US Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces
- Member, Board of Trustees, 1981-2002 and 2006 to date, Supreme Court Historical Society, and Chairman, Publications Committee, 1987-2002, and Chairman, Program Committee, 2006 to date
- Member, Product Liability Advisory Council, Case Selection Committee, 2000 to date
- Member, Washington Legal Foundation, Legal Policy Advisory Board, 2004 to date
- Member (2000-2006) and Chairman (2006-2009), Advisory Committee on Procedures, US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
- Member, Rules Advisory Committee, US Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, 1994-2001
- Member, Advisory Board, State and Local Legal Center, 1986-1992
- Member, Visiting Committee, Harvard Law School, 1981-1986
- Faculty, American Bar Association Appellate Advocacy Institute, 1982-1985
- Panelist, National Association of Attorneys General Supreme Court Seminars, 1982-2003
- “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.” – Chambers USA
- Appellate National and Washington DC Litigation Star – Benchmark
- Listed for Appellate Law – The Best Lawyers in America
- Top band of “America’s Leading Lawyers for Business” list – Chambers USA
- “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.” – Chambers USA