Michael J.  Mestitz

Michael Mestitz Photo

Michael Mestitz focuses his practice on complex civil matters and appellate litigation.  He has represented individual and corporate clients in high-stakes appeals in the U.S. Supreme Court, as well as federal and state appellate courts around the country.  Michael has experience in a broad range of substantive areas, including federal statutory interpretation, contract law, securities class actions, and financial-services regulation.  He has represented several Fortune 10 companies in appeals, trial courts, and government investigations.  His pro bono practice focuses on representing criminal defendants and amici curiae in state and federal appellate courts.  He is 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.

Representative Experience

Though all cases vary and none is predictive, Michael’s experience includes:

  • Successful representation of the respondent in Obduskey v. McCarthy & Holthus LLP, 139 S. Ct. 1029 (2019), resulting in an unanimous Supreme Court ruling that state nonjudicial foreclosure proceedings are not governed by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
  • Representation of 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.
  • Representation of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in successful motions to dismiss in various federal district courts and a successful motion for summary affirmance in the D.C. Circuit.
  • Representation and argument as appointed counsel on behalf of a criminal appellant in the Maryland Court of Special Appeals.
  • Successfully obtained affirmance of judgment as a matter of law in favor of firm clients in a fraud case in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
  • Representation of a Fortune 10 corporation in an investigation by the Federal Trade Commission.
  • Representation of a major multinational company in arbitration proceedings regarding a multibillion dollar contract claim.
  • Representation 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 Altitude Express, Inc. v. Zarda, Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia, and R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes v. EEOC.
  • Representation of civil-rights organizations across the ideological spectrum as amici curiae before the U.S. Supreme Court in Uzuegbunam v. Preczewski, arguing that a live claim for nominal damages prevents a case from being moot.




Super Lawyers Rising Star, 2020

Named one of The Best Lawyers in America® Ones to Watch for Appellate Practice, 2021


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