Pat Philbin is based in the firm’s new Washington office. In almost thirty years of practice, including service in senior roles in the federal government, Mr. Philbin has gained deep experience in a broad range of matters from litigating disputes for Fortune 100 companies, to responding to congressional investigations, to crisis management involving legal issues that make front-page news stories. In addition to handling critical litigation matters, Mr. Philbin will draw on his extensive experience both in and out of government to counsel clients confronted with complex legal issues that present challenges on several fronts and may require interacting with the legislative branch and executive agencies as well as seeking solutions in court. In his varied experience as a litigator, he has presented argument in myriad state, federal, and tribal trial courts, in eight of the thirteen federal courts of appeals, before the International Court of Justice at The Hague, and before the United States Senate sitting as a Court of Impeachment.
Mr. Philbin spent over fifteen years as a litigation partner at a major international law firm where he litigated matters at both the trial and appellate levels for Fortune 100 clients.
From December 2018 to January 2021, Mr. Philbin served as Deputy Counsel to the President for President Donald J. Trump. In that role, he oversaw interagency legal review of key policy initiatives and managed litigation on issues of importance to the administration. He also successfully represented President Trump in his first impeachment trial before the U.S. Senate.
From 2001 to 2005, Mr. Philbin served at the Department of Justice during the George W. Bush administration. There, his responsibilities centered on national security, intelligence, and terrorism issues. As a Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Legal Counsel from 2001 to 2003, Mr. Philbin advised the Attorney General and the Counsel to the President on issues related to the War on Terrorism. As an Associate Deputy Attorney General from 2003 to 2005, Mr. Philbin oversaw and managed the national security functions of the Department, including espionage, counterterrorism, and counterintelligence investigations and applications for electronic surveillance under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
Although cases vary and results are not predictive, Mr. Philbin’s broad experience includes the following:
- Argued for a “but for” causation standard in section 1981 cases – the standard subsequently adopted by the Supreme Court in a companion case. National Association of African-American Owned Media Companies v. Charter Communications, 915 F.3d 617 (9th 2019).
- Retained after jury verdict and secured remittitur of punitive damages award as unconstitutionally excessive. Desai v. Charter Communications LLC, (W.D. Ky. No. 3:2014cv00459, Mar. 29, 2019).
- Won dismissal of purported discrimination claim. Tara Broadcasting, LLC v. Charter Communications, Inc., (C.D. Cal. No. 5:18-cv-00532-AB, 2018).
- Secured dismissal of qui tam action. S. ex rel. Pospisil v. Syngenta AG, (D. Kan. No. 14-md-2591-JWL Oct. 6, 2016).
- Secured order striking down FCC rule on ownership limits for television stations. Prometheus Radio Project v. FCC, 824 F.3d 33 (3rd 2016).
- Successfully defended judgment as a matter of law overturning a $147 million jury verdict on a patent infringement claim. Mformation Technologies, Inc. v. Research In Motion, Ltd., 764 F.3d 1392 (Fed. Cir. 2014).
- Secured dismissal of class action takings claim. Kurtz v. Verizon New York, Inc., 758 F.3d 506 (2d Cir. 2014).
- Secured dismissal of plaintiffs’ primary claim and denial of class certification in a putative consumer class action seeking over $100 million in damages. Corsello v. Verizon New York, Inc., 967 N.E.2d 1177 (N.Y. 2012).
- Appointed Special Assistant United States Attorney to defend against motion by John Walker Lindh, the “American Taliban,” seeking privileged combatant status.
- Argued on behalf of the United States before the International Court of Justice in Mexico v. United States (the Avena case).
- Successfully challenged FCC spectrum allocation rulemaking on behalf of National Public Radio. NPR v. FCC, 254 F.3d 226 (D.C. Cir. 2001).
- Established federal jurisdiction and secured a ruling striking down portions of the Michigan Telecommunications Act as preempted by federal law. See GTE North Inc. v. Strand, 209 F.3d 909 (6th Cir. 2000) and Verizon North Inc. v. Engler, 257 F.3d 587 (6th Cir. 2001).
Awards and Distinctions
- Outstanding Achievement Award for Kirkland & Ellis from the Washington Lawyers’ Committee on Civil Rights for pro bono representation in fair housing case, 2014.
- Member, U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit Advisory Committee on Procedures, 2008-2014.
- Attorney General’s Award for Excellence in Furthering the Interests of U.S. National Security, June 2004.
- Office of the Secretary of Defense, Exceptional Civilian Service Award for Support to the Secretary of Defense in the War on Terror, October 2002.
- The Honorable Clarence Thomas, Associate Justice, United States Supreme Court; July 1993 – July 1994
- The Honorable Laurence H. Silberman, U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit; July 1992 – July 1993
- Cambridge University, Diploma in Legal Studies, 1995
- Harvard Law School, J.D., magna cum laude, 1992
Executive Editor, Harvard Law Review
- Yale University, B.A. in History, summa cum laude, 1989
Phi Beta Kappa
- District of Columbia