Donald B. Verrilli, Jr.

Donald B. Verrilli, Jr.

Donald B. Verrilli, Jr. is a partner with Munger, Tolles & Olson, and the founder of its Washington, D.C., office.

Mr. Verrilli is one of the nation’s premier Supreme Court and appellate advocates. He served as Solicitor General of the United States from June 2011 to June 2016. Since joining the firm after his government service, he has handled numerous significant cases in the United States Supreme Court, including his successful defense of the constitutionality of the federal law establishing the Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico in Federal Oversight and Management Board v. Aurelius. He has also won victories for clients in high-stakes class action, antitrust, constitutional, government contracts and copyright appeals.

During his time as Solicitor General, he argued more than 50 cases before the Supreme Court, including landmark decisions upholding the Affordable Care Act (National Federation of Independent Businesses v. Sebelius and King v. Burwell) and recognizing marriage equality (Obergefell v. Hodges). Mr. Verrilli also achieved victories in two important patent cases, Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank and Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, in a case vindicating the president’s foreign affairs authority in Zivotofsky v. Kerry, and in numerous cases involving civil rights, women’s rights and other matters of national importance involving antitrust, copyright, telecommunications, the environment, the First Amendment, the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment, the separation of powers, criminal law and other federal constitutional and statutory matters.

In addition to handling matters before the U.S. Supreme Court and the courts of appeals, Mr. Verrilli’s practice focuses on representing and counseling clients on multi-dimensional problems, where litigation, regulation and public policy intersect to shape markets and industries in our evolving economy.

Before serving as Solicitor General, Mr. Verrilli served as Deputy White House Counsel, and previously as Associate Deputy Attorney General in the U.S. Department of Justice. In those positions, he counseled President Obama, Cabinet secretaries and other senior government officials on a wide range of legal issues involving national security, economic regulation, domestic policy and the scope of executive and administrative authority.

Prior to his government service, Mr. Verrilli spent two decades in private practice representing companies in high stakes matters, particularly in the areas of media and entertainment, and telecommunications law. During this time, Mr. Verrilli argued a dozen cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, including MGM Studios, Inc. v. Grokster, the landmark case establishing that file sharing services were subject to the copyright laws, and FCC v. NextWave, which established that the bankruptcy laws allow FCC licensees to keep their licenses while reorganizing. He also achieved a landmark victory before the U.S. Supreme Court in Wiggins v. Smith, a case that established the standards for effective assistance of counsel in capital sentencing proceedings.

Mr. Verrilli is also a Lecturer in Law at Columbia Law School, where he teaches classes on the First Amendment and on the Supreme Court. Previously he taught First Amendment law for many years at the Georgetown University Law Center.

Speaking Engagements

  • Speaker, 15th annual Robert H. Jackson Lecture, Chautauqua Institution, July, 1, 2019
  • Panelist, The ACA at 10: History, Legacy, Challenges, Yale Law School, September 26, 2019
  • Speaker, 2019 Supreme Court IP Review (SCIPR), Chicago-Kent College of Law, September 20, 2019
  • Speaker, University of Connecticut School of Law Commencement, May 19, 2019
  • Speaker, So to Speak: The Free Speech Podcast, October 4, 2018
  • Speaker, The Rule of Law: Not Just a Law of Rules, University of Nebraska College of Law, September 21, 2018
  • Speaker, Loyola Law School, Los Angeles Commencement, May 20, 2018
  • Panelist, 2018 Supreme Court Review and Preview, Georgetown University Law Center Corporate Counsel Institute, March 14, 2018
  • Panelist, 2017 Supreme Court Review and Preview, Georgetown University Law Center Corporate Counsel Institute, March 17, 2017