Appellate Litigation

Supreme Court to Consider Honest-Services Fraud: Robert F. McDonnell v. United States - Podcast

Criminal Law & Procedure Practice Group Podcast
Brian D. Boone, Randall D. Eliason, William J. Haun February 10, 2016

On January 15, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari in Robert F. McDonnell v. United States. The Court will review the public corruption convictions of former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell to determine whether the definition of “official action” as used in the federal bribery statute, Hobbs Act, and honest-services fraud statute is limited to exercising actual governmental power or the threat or pressure to do so. If the definition is not so limited, the Court will also consider whether the Hobbs Act and honest-services fraud statute are unconstitutional—given that such a broad definition could include political activity protected by the First Amendment. This Teleforum will allow experts who have been involved in amicus briefs and analyzing the case to debate the positions articulated by Governor McDonnell and the U.S. Government as to the "official act" question.


  • Brian D. Boone, Alston & Bird LLP
  • Prof. Randall D. Eliason, George Washington University Law School
  • Moderator: William J. Haun, Hunton & Williams LLP

Net Neutrality Goes to Court: U.S. Telecomm Association v. FCC - Podcast

Telecommunications & Electronic Media Practice Group Podcast
Brantley Webb, Adam J. White December 14, 2015

On Friday, the D.C. Court of Appeals heard U.S. Telecomm Association v. FCC, a challenge to the FCC's much-discussed net neutrality rules. Proponents of the rule assert that it is needed to ensure that all internet traffic is treated equally, to ensure fair access to the internet and all it offers, access that is currently controlled by internet service providers. Critics of the rule claim that the FCC lacks authority to regulate the internet, that the rule violates the plain wording of the Telecommunications Act, that the White House intervention in calling for the rule violated both basic separation of powers and notice and comment requirements, and that the rule implicates free speech. Which side has the better argument?


  • Brantley Webb, Associate, Mayer Brown LLP
  • Adam J. White, Visiting Fellow, The Hoover Institution

Ten Years of the Roberts Court - Event Audio/Video

2015 National Lawyers Convention
Michael A. Carvin, Jan Crawford, Steven J. Duffield, Michael S. Paulsen, Carlos T. Bea, Rachel Brand November 16, 2015

It has been ten years since John Roberts was appointed as the 17th Chief Justice of the United States. During his confirmation hearing, Chief Justice Roberts promised to be a Justice who would "call balls and strikes." In his first decade on the Court, he has written for the Court in some of most consequential cases in recent history and dissented in others. He has been both applauded and criticized by both ends of the political spectrum. He also has begun to craft his legacy as Chief Justice and leader not only of the Supreme Court but of the entire federal judiciary. This panel will present a range of views on the first ten years of the Roberts Court. The panelists bring a variety of perspectives: practitioner, journalist, academic, and Senate staff at the time of his confirmation. They will discuss the substance of the Roberts Court's opinions, what legacy the Chief Justice is crafting, whether he is succeeding in shaping the Court into a "Roberts Court," and whether his jurisprudence is consistent with what was expected at the time he was appointed.

Litigation: Ten Years of the Roberts Court
12:00 noon – 1:45 p.m.
East & State Rooms

  • Mr. Michael A. Carvin, Partner, Jones Day
  • Ms. Jan Crawford, Political Correspondent and Chief Legal Correspondent, CBS News
  • Mr. Steven J. Duffield, Former Chief Counsel, Senator Jon Kyl
  • Prof. Michael S. Paulsen, Distinguished University Chair and Professor, University of St. Thomas School of Law
  • Moderator: Hon. Carlos T. Bea, U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
  • Introduction: Hon. Rachel Brand, Member, Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board and Senior Advisor to the U.S. Chamber Litigation Center, United States Chamber of Commerce

The Mayflower Hotel
Washington, DC

Trial by Formula & Class Action Lawsuits

Short video featuring Anastasia Boden discussing Tyson Foods, Inc. v. Bouaphakeo
Anastasia Boden November 09, 2015

Attorney Anastasia Boden of the Pacific Legal Foundation previews the upcoming Supreme Court case Tyson Foods, Inc. v. Bouaphakeo. In the case, workers sued Tyson Food for not paying them for time spent taking on and off their work equipment.  Since no time records for such activity were kept, the lower court allowed damages to be determined based on an average time for class members and then applied it to the entire remaining class.  Ms. Boden explains the concept of “Trial by Formula” and its implications in this case. The Pacific Legal Foundation filed an amicus brief  co-authored by Ms. Boden in support of the petitioner Tyson Foods.