Lisa Blatt serves as Chair of Williams & Connolly’s Supreme Court and Appellate practice. Lisa has argued 37 cases before the United States Supreme Court, prevailing in 34 (1 pending).  The National Law Journal has called her a "visionary" and one of "the 100 most influential lawyers in America."  The National Journal has referred to her as a “SCOTUS legend.”  Lisa’s appellate work has been highlighted by multiple publications and has earned her rankings in Chambers USA, Benchmark Litigation, The Legal 500, and Washingtonian magazine.

Lisa has argued and briefed numerous appeals on a wide range of business law issues in federal and state courts of appeal. The American Lawyer Litigation Daily has twice named her "Litigator of the Week" – for her work in Price v. Philip Morris, Inc. in overturning reinstatement of a $10 billion verdict against client Philip Morris in a "light" cigarette case, and in SmithKline Beecham Corp. v. Abbott Laboratories, a landmark case on behalf of GlaxoSmithKline finding that the Equal Protection Clause bars peremptory challenges of jurors based on sexual orientation. Most recently, Lisa represented Marvin Gaye’s heirs in their copyright dispute over the hit songs “Got To Give It Up” and “Blurred Lines,” and the Washington Redskins football team in its dispute with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office over the team's trademarks.

Lisa also brings substantial experience with the pharmaceutical industry. Her Supreme Court arguments include prevailing in Astra USA, Inc. v. Santa Clara County, which concerned alleged violations of drug pricing rules under the Section 340B program; and serving as lead counsel for the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) in Sorrell v. IMS Health, a landmark decision granting pharmaceutical manufacturers a First Amendment right to market their drugs. Her Supreme Court cases also have addressed a broad range of issues, involving healthcare, antitrust, civil procedure, preemption, employment and ERISA, bankruptcy, and national security.

Lisa began her career at Williams & Connolly as an associate before joining the general counsel’s office at the Department of Energy, followed by thirteen years in the Office of the Solicitor General.

Lisa received her J.D. summa cum laude from the University of Texas School of Law before clerking for The Honorable Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

Lisa assists the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in selecting cases for amicus participation and is on the Advisory Board for Georgetown University Law Center's Supreme Court Institute. She also teaches at Georgetown University’s Law Center.

Representative Experience

Although all cases vary and none is predictive, Lisa’s experience includes:

Supreme Court

  • BNSF Railway Company v. Loos, 586 U.S. ____ (2019).  Secured ruling that client’s payment to an employee for working time lost due to an on-the-job injury is taxable “compensation” under the Railroad Retirement Tax Act.*
  • Church plan litigation, 581 U. S. ____ (2017). Unanimous decision for client regarding ERISA's church plan exemption for religious employers.*
  • Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl, 570 U.S. ___ (2013). Clients prevailed in a child custody dispute involving the federal Indian Child Welfare Act. The case marked only the second time the Supreme Court had considered the scope of ICWA, and "Baby Girl" was reunited with her adoptive parents.*
  • Tarrant Regional Water District v. Herrmann, 569 U.S. ___ (2013). Secured decision protecting key western water compacts that do not expressly authorize cross-border diversions.*
  • Marx v. General Revenue Corp., 568 U.S. ___ (2013). Secured ruling in favor of client in Fair Debt Collection Practices Act case.*
  • Astra USA, Inc. v. Santa Clara County, 563 U.S. 110 (2011). Unanimous decision for client that resolved important questions for government contract litigation involving third-party beneficiary challenges.*
  • Henderson v. Shinseki, 562 U.S. 428 (2011). Unanimous decision in favor of war veteran client regarding veteran disability benefits.*

Appellate

  • Wendy Dolin v. Glaxosmithkline, No. 17-3030 (7th Cir. 2018).  Successfully represented drug manufacturer asserting federal preemption defense against failure to warn claim.*
  • Williams v. Gaye, No. 15-56880 (9th Cir. 2018).  Successfully defended copyright verdict in favor of Marvin Gaye’s heirs in copyright dispute.*
  • Pro-Football, Inc. v. Blackhorse et al., No. 15-1874 (4th Cir. 2017). Successfully represented the Washington Redskins in its appeal of the government's decision to cancel the Team's trademarks.*
  • AngioScore, Inc. v. TriReme Medical, LLC, Nos. 2016-1126, -1142, __ F. App'x __ (Fed. Cir. 2016). Successfully overturned $20 million trial verdict against medical device manufacturer.*
  • MM Steel, L.P. v. JSW Steel (USA) Inc., 806 F.3d 835 (5th Cir. 2015). Overturned $156 million trial antitrust verdict against steel manufacturer.*
  • Price v. Philip Morris, Inc., 43 N.E.3d 53 (Ill. S. Ct. 2015). Successfully represented Philip Morris before the Illinois Supreme Court in an appeal from a $10 billion judgment concerning light cigarettes. The high Court held that the lower state court lacked authority to vacate its prior judgment and dismissed the case.*
  • SmithKline Beecham Corp. v. Abbott Laboratories, 740 F.3d 471 (9th Cir. 2013). Successfully represented GlaxoSmithKline in landmark case finding that the Equal Protection Clause bars peremptory challenges of jurors based on sexual orientation.*

*Representation occurred prior to Lisa’s return to Williams & Connolly.

Education

Recognitions

Gould Award for Outstanding Oral Advocacy, Office of the Appellate Defender, 2018

Rex Lee Advocacy Award, presented by J. Reuben Clark Law Society Mid-Atlantic Chapter, 2018

Inducted into Hall of Fame for Appellate Law, The Legal 500, 2017

"Top Lawyers” in the category of Supreme Court, Washingtonian magazine, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2017-2018

“The Most Powerful Women in Washington,” Washingtonian magazine, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2017

“Litigation Trailblazer,” The National Law Journal, 2017

“Outstanding Women Lawyers,” The National Law Journal, 2015

“Life Science Star,” LMG Life Sciences, 2016-2018

“Top 250 Women in Litigation,” Benchmark Litigation, 2016, 2018

“Local Litigation Star” in Appellate, Benchmark Litigation, 2013, 2018

Appellate Law (Nationwide), Chambers USA, 2010-2019

Appellate: Courts of Appeals, The Legal 500, 2017-2018

“Leading Lawyer” in Dispute Resolution: Supreme Court and Appellate, The Legal 500, 2017-2019

“Leading Lawyer” in Litigation: Supreme Court and Appellate, The Legal 500, 2012-2017

“500 Leading Lawyers in America,” Lawdragon, 2012-2019

“Sports MVP,” Law360, 2017

“Appellate Law MVP,” Law360, 2013

“100 Most Influential Lawyers,” The National Law Journal, 2011

“Visionaries” in Washington, D.C., The National Law Journal, 2011

“Appellate Lawyer of the Week,” The National Law Journal, 2010

“Litigators of the Week,” The American Lawyer, (Nov. 2015, Jan. 2014)

Featured in “Working Mothers of the Year,” Working Mother magazine, 2011

Admissions

Government Service

Assistant to the Solicitor General, US Department of Justice

Assistant General Counsel, US Department of Energy

Special Assistant to the General Counsel, US Department of Energy

United States Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit, The Honorable Ruth Bader Ginsburg

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