Sarah Harris has represented clients in high-stakes appeals in the U.S. Supreme Court and federal and state appellate courts across the country. She has argued before the federal courts of appeals and state supreme courts. Her cases have covered a wide range of topics, including commercial litigation matters, constitutional law, administrative law, class actions, antitrust, False Claims Act litigation, products liability, and federal civil procedure. Sarah has been recognized in the appellate field as a “Rising Star” by The National Law Journal and Super Lawyers and as a “Next Generation Lawyer” by The Legal 500. Before joining the firm, Sarah served as a Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Legal Counsel at the United States Department of Justice.
Sarah clerked for Justice Clarence Thomas on the Supreme Court of the United States, Judge Laurence Silberman on the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, and Judge Sandra Lynch on the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.
Sarah received her undergraduate degree summa cum laude from Princeton University, and her J.D. magna cum laude from Harvard Law School. She also holds a Ph.D. and M. Phil. from the University of Cambridge.
Though all cases vary and none is predictive, Sarah’s experience includes:
- United States Patent & Trademark Office v. Booking.com, No. 19-46. Secured significant Supreme Court ruling in favor of client Booking.com that the addition of a generic top-level domain (".com") to an otherwise generic term can create a protectable trademark.
- Atlantic Richfield Co. v. Christian, 590 U.S. ___ (2020). Secured ruling holding that Superfund site landowners cannot sue defendants to implement an alternative cleanup plan that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has not approved.
- Dolin v. GlaxoSmithKline, 951 F.3d 882 (7th Cir. 2020). Sarah briefed and argued this appeal, in which the Seventh Circuit affirmed a judgment in GSK’s favor and refused plaintiff’s bid to vacate the Seventh Circuit’s earlier decision that plaintiff’s inadequate labeling claims were preempted. In one of the first appellate decisions after the Supreme Court’s preemption decision in Merck v. Albrecht, the Seventh Circuit held that it would have reached the same preemption holding even after Albrecht.
- Sexton v. Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Servs., et al., U.S. S.Ct. No. 18-1446 (cert denied Oct. 21, 2019). Sarah successfully represented Coventry Health and Life Insurance Company in persuading the Supreme Court not to grant review of a case involving Kentucky’s procedures for determining whether to reimburse certain services under Medicaid.
- Chatfield v. League of Women Voters of Michigan, et al., 140 S. Ct. 429 (2019). Sarah represented the Michigan Senate in a direct appeal of a three-judge panel decision declaring large portions of Michigan’s state and congressional districting plans an unconstitutional political gerrymander. The Supreme Court granted the Michigan Senate a stay and vacated and remanded the lower court judgment after deciding Rucho v. Common Cause.
- In Re: Mirena IUD Prods. Liab. Litig., No. 16-2890 (2d Cir. 2017). Successfully represented Bayer in obtaining affirmance of the dismissal of approximately 1,300 cases in MDL.*
- Naifeh v. State ex rel. Okla. Tax Comm’n, 2017 OK 63 (2017). Successfully represented Philip Morris before the Oklahoma Supreme Court in a case challenging the constitutionality of a putative cigarette tax.*
- Price v. Philip Morris, Inc., 43 N.E.3d 53 (Ill. 2015) (Ill. S. Ct.). Successfully represented Philip Morris before the Illinois Supreme Court and obtained vacatur of a $10 billion judgment concerning light cigarettes that the lower courts had reinstated.*
- 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.*
- 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.*
*Representation occurred before Sarah joined Williams & Connolly.
“Next Generation Lawyer,” in the category of Appellate Law, The Legal 500, 2017, 2020
“Rising Star,” The National Law Journal, 2017
“Rising Star” for Washington, D.C. Appellate, Super Lawyers, 2014-2017
Other Government Service
Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Office of Legal Counsel, United States Department of Justice