Michael Mestitz focuses his practice on complex civil matters and appellate litigation. He has been the primary author of dozens of briefs representing individuals and businesses in high-stakes litigation in trial and appellate courts around the country, and his work has been praised by courts and clients alike. In the words of one in-house litigation counsel at a major global company: “I wish all of my outside counsel wrote like this.”
Michael has experience in a broad range of substantive areas. He has represented both plaintiffs and defendants at trial, and has argued appeals in the Ninth and D.C. Circuit Courts of Appeals, as well arguing matters in other trial and appellate courts. He has represented several Fortune 10 companies in appeals, trial courts, and government investigations. His representations of individual clients have ranged from pro bono representation of indigent criminal defendants to representation of former heads of state and high-level government officials. He has also authored a wide array of amicus briefs on behalf of a variety of national civil rights organizations, and serves as the co-chair of Williams & Connolly’s LGBTQ+ affinity group.
Michael grew up in Minnesota and graduated from Vassar College with general honors, as well as departmental honors in each of his three majors. He received his Juris Doctor from Stanford Law School, where he served as the President of the Stanford Law Review. While at Stanford, he also participated in the Supreme Court Litigation Clinic, the Community Law Clinic, and the Kirkwood Moot Court Competition. He clerked for Judge Raymond C. Fisher of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit before joining Williams & Connolly in 2016.
Though all cases vary and none is predictive, Michael’s experience includes:
- Represented two individuals in a weeklong bench trial, securing a complete victory and recovering more than $20 million in damages.
- Defended a Fortune 10 financial institution against multi-billion-dollar claims in a six-week trial. The trial resolved before a judgment.
- Represented former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in various matters; most recently, in Trump v. Clinton in the Southern District of Florida, where the court dismissed the suit with prejudice and imposed sanctions, awarding nearly one million dollars in fees and costs to the defendants.
- Defended CVS in multi-jurisdictional securities class actions relating to the company’s announcement of a goodwill impairment, securing and maintaining multiple dismissals with prejudice in state and federal trial and appellate courts.
- Defended Range Resources and several current and former executives in a putative securities class action resulting from a regulatory settlement, securing a dismissal with prejudice.
- Represented the respondent in Obduskey v. McCarthy & Holthus LLP in the U.S. Supreme Court, resulting in a unanimous Supreme Court ruling that state nonjudicial foreclosure proceedings are not governed by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
- Represented petitioners in Sanchez v. Mayorkas in the U.S. Supreme Court, presenting the question whether eligible recipients of Temporary Protected Status may adjust to lawful-permanent-resident status.
- Represented of organizations representing tens of thousands of businesses nationwide as amici before the U.S. Supreme Court urging the Court to hold that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in Bostock v. Clayton County.
Super Lawyers Rising Star, 2020
Named one of The Best Lawyers in America® Ones to Watch for Appellate Practice, 2021