John O'Quinn

Partner, Kirkland and Ellis, LLP

John O'Quinn is a Partner in Kirkland's Washington, D.C. office.  His practice focuses on litigation, including intellectual property disputes, commercial litigation, regulatory issues arising from or likely to lead to litigation, and other complex litigation matters at both the trial and appellate levels.  He has extensive argument experience before both trial and appellate courts, and has argued in most of the U.S. Courts of Appeals, including the D.C. Circuit and the Federal Circuit.  Mr. O'Quinn has been to trial multiple times, where he has examined expert and fact witnesses.  Representative clients include Apple, Boeing, B. Braun Medical, Charter Communications, C.R. Bard, POET LLC, Siemens, and Teva Pharmaceuticals.   

From 2006 to 2009, Mr. O'Quinn served in the United States Department of Justice.  As Deputy Associate Attorney General, he was responsible for helping to oversee much of the government's civil litigation and reviewing proposed settlements of multi-million dollar civil cases brought by or against the government.  As the Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Federal Programs Branch of the Civil Division, Mr. O'Quinn supervised over 100 attorneys charged with defending the constitutionality of federal statutes and regulations, representing the diplomatic and national security interests of the United States in court, and conducting significant Title VII, personnel, social security, Medicare and Medicaid-related litigation.  Mr. O'Quinn worked with counsel from virtually every federal agency on complex civil litigation matters and personally directed significant cases defending the government's interests, arguing more than 20 cases in federal court.  In February of 2009, Mr. O'Quinn was awarded the Office of the Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Public Service for his leadership in defending the Department of Defense in lawsuits challenging the detention and trial of enemy combatants captured abroad by United States Armed Forces.

Mr. O'Quinn was previously an associate with Kirkland from 2003 to 2006.  While on leave from the Firm, he served as special counsel to the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary for the nomination of Chief Justice Roberts.  Prior to joining the Firm, Mr. O'Quinn was a law clerk for Justice Antonin Scalia of the U.S. Supreme Court and Judge David Sentelle of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

While at Kirkland, Mr. O'Quinn has also provided legal counseling and representation for individuals and organizations on a pro bono basis, including arguing a habeas petition on behalf of a defendant convicted of capital murder, and submitting FOIA requests on behalf of a civil rights organization.


Education

  • J.D., Harvard Law School, magna cum laude

Publications

Williams v. Illinois - Post-Decision SCOTUScast
SCOTUScast 07-05-12 featuring John O'Quinn
July 5, 2012
Williams v. Illinois - Post-Argument SCOTUScast
SCOTUScast 12-15-11 featuring John O'Quinn
December 15, 2011