Elaine Goldenberg focuses her practice on appeals and complex litigation, and represents a spectrum of clients in high-stakes appellate litigation across the country.
Ms. Goldenberg has argued 12 cases in the U.S. Supreme Court and numerous cases in federal and state appellate courts. Before joining Munger, Tolles & Olson, she served for five years as an Assistant to the Solicitor General at the U.S. Department of Justice, where she briefed hundreds of cases at the merits and certiorari stages in the U.S. Supreme Court and helped formulate the government’s positions and appellate strategy in the lower courts. She is ranked by Chambers USA as one of the leading appellate lawyers in the United States; Chambers describes her as possessing “exceptional poise at the podium,” the ability to draft “very well-written briefs that explain complicated concepts in simple terms,” and “superior judgment in everything she does.” She is also a member of the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers and a recipient of the U.S. Department of Justice’s John Marshall Award for Outstanding Legal Achievement for Handling of Appeals.
Ms. Goldenberg has played a lead role in numerous significant appellate matters. For instance, in the area of securities law, she argued Kokesh v. Securities and Exchange Commission and Chadbourne and Parke LLP v. Troice in the U.S. Supreme Court, and she wrote the government’s brief in Salman v. United States, an important case about the standard for insider-trading liability. With respect to foreign-state immunity and extraterritoriality, she argued in the U.S. Supreme Court in Venezuela v. Helmerich & Payne International Drilling Company, which clarified the meaning of the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, and in RJR Nabisco v. The European Community, which explained how to conduct an extraterritoriality analysis. Recently, she has been litigating appeals across the country on the meaning and scope of the Federal Arbitration Act.
In the community, Ms. Goldenberg serves on the Board of Advisors of the Institute of Judicial Administration at NYU School of Law, on the Administrative Law Committee of the Federal Circuit Bar Association, and as a Master in the Edward Coke Appellate Inn of Court. She has an active pro bono practice focused on immigration issues, in recognition of which the firm was recently awarded the National Immigrant Justice Center’s Human Rights Award. She also speaks frequently to industry groups, businesses, judges, lawyers and law students about the Supreme Court and appellate advocacy.
Prior to her government service, Ms. Goldenberg spent more than a decade as an appellate lawyer in private practice. She clerked for Judge Sandra Lynch in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit and Judge Jed Rakoff in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Prior to clerking, Ms. Goldenberg earned a J.D., magna cum laude, from Harvard Law School, where she was executive editor of the Harvard Law Review. She also earned an A.B., summa cum laude, in history and literature from Harvard College.