Paul Mogin’s practice encompasses both civil and criminal litigation, with a special emphasis on white collar criminal cases, civil and criminal appeals, government investigations, and cases involving claims for punitive damages. Paul is highlighted for his appellate work in the 2012 edition of The Legal 500 United States. He argued Cleveland v. United States, 531 U.S. 12 (2000), and has argued or briefed successful challenges to criminal convictions in the Second, Fourth, Sixth, and District of Columbia Circuits, overturning counts of conspiracy, false statements, mail fraud, wire fraud, money laundering, racketeering and racketeering conspiracy, running an illegal gambling business, obstruction of congressional proceedings, receiving an illegal gratuity, concealment of government records, and shipment of adulterated and misbranded food. Paul has also represented clients in a variety of different kinds of investigations, including investigations by grand juries, the SEC, the CFTC, bar disciplinary authorities, and a state board of ethics.

The primary question before the Supreme Court in the Cleveland case, which involved a video poker lounge in Slidell, Louisiana, was whether a state license constitutes “property” under the federal mail fraud statute. In 1997, the Supreme Court had denied a petition for certiorari seeking a resolution of the conflict among the circuits on that question, but three years later  Paul convinced the Court to grant review.  The Court later resolved the question in favor of Paul’s client.

More recently, Paul’s client prevailed in United States v. Ford, 639 F.3d 718 (6th Cir. 2011), where the Sixth Circuit overturned a conviction on all six counts (two wire fraud/honest services counts and four false statement counts).  Paul also prevailed in his representation of a corporate defendant in the Fourth Circuit, which reversed a $200,000 sanction for alleged misconduct during discovery, and he has been involved in six successful challenges to punitive damages awards each of which exceeded $10 million.  He has argued cases in the District of Columbia, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Ninth, and Eleventh Circuits.

A prolific legal writer, Paul’s 1998 University of Chicago Law Review article about punitive damages was reprinted in The Right to a Fair Trial (2009), a collection of essays edited by Thom Brooks of Newcastle University.  His most recent article, published in The University of Denver Criminal Law Review, examines a 2014 decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit that rejected the multi-factor test utilized by several courts to determine where an alleged crime can be prosecuted.   

Paul has also written amicus curiae briefs for the American Bar Association in Mohawk Industries, Inc. v. Carpenter, 558 U.S. 100 (2009), and for the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers in Castro v. United States, 540 U.S. 375 (2003), and Wyoming v. Houghton, 526 U.S. 295 (1999).

Paul was born in Neptune, New Jersey and grew up an hour away in Bridgewater, in central New Jersey.  He graduated from Princeton University summa cum laude and received his J.D. degree magna cum laude from Harvard Law School, where he was an editor of the Harvard Law Review.  Paul was a law clerk to Judge Henry J. Friendly of the Second Circuit before joining Williams & Connolly in 1981.  He rejoined the firm after clerking for Associate Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall during the 1982 Term.  Paul was elected as a member of the American Law Institute in 2015.

Representative Experience

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

  • Represented holding company in successful appeal from nine-figure verdict in Texas
  • Represented insurance underwriter following guilty verdict in case involving Small Business Administration (motion for new trial based on newly discovered evidence and successful appeal from denial of the motion)
  • Represented former state senator in successful appeal from criminal conviction
  • Represented individual in recently-settled litigation concerning sale of 100-acre parcel in Cecil County, Maryland




"Top Lawyers," Washingtonian magazine, 2004


Professional Affiliations

American Bar Association

American Health Lawyers Association

American Law Institute, member of ALI Consultative Group for the project, Principles of the Law, Police Investigations

National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

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