Theodore J. Boutrous, Jr., a partner in the Los Angeles office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, is global Co-Chair of the firm’s Litigation Group and previously led the firm’s appellate, crisis management, transnational litigation and media groups. He also is a member of the firm’s Executive and Management Committees.
As The New York Times has noted, Mr. Boutrous has “a long history of pushing the courts and the public to see the bigger picture on heated issues.” He has represented clients in the federal and state appellate courts throughout the nation in a wide spectrum of cases. He has argued more than 100 appeals, including before the Supreme Court of the United States, 12 different federal circuit courts of appeals, nine different state supreme courts and a multitude of other appellate and trial courts in complex civil, constitutional and criminal matters. Mr. Boutrous has successfully persuaded courts to overturn some of the largest jury verdicts and class actions in history. In 2011, he successfully represented Walmart before the Supreme Court of the United States in the Dukes case, which unanimously reversed what had been the largest employment class action in history and established important standards governing class actions (Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes). In 2013, he successfully represented the prevailing party in obtaining a unanimous Supreme Court decision enforcing the Class Action Fairness Act (Standard Fire Insurance Co. v. Knowles). Also in 2013, Mr. Boutrous successfully represented plaintiffs in the Supreme Court in a case invalidating California’s prohibition on same-sex marriage, Proposition 8 (Hollingsworth v. Perry), in which he also served as one of the lead trial lawyers and architects of the legal strategy that led to this landmark victory.
As both a crisis management strategist and a seasoned appellate and media lawyer, Mr. Boutrous has extensive experience handling high-profile litigation, media relations and media legal issues. He routinely advises clients in planning how to respond, and in responding, to crises and other especially significant legal problems that attract the media spotlight. According to The National Law Journal, which in 2013 named him one of the “100 Most Influential Lawyers in America,” he “is known for his wise, strategic advice to clients in crisis and is a media law star.”
Numerous other profiles of Mr. Boutrous and his practice have appeared in the media. Prominent mentions include: “Litigator of the Week,” The Am Law Litigation Daily (April 27, 2017); “Litigator of the Week,” The Am Law Litigation Daily (September 8, 2016); “Practice Group Performs In Spotlight and Under Pressure,” Los Angeles Daily Journal (March 2012); “Litigator of the Week,” The Am Law Litigation Daily (June 2011); “Lawyer of the Week,” The Times of London (June 2011); “Appellate Lawyer of the Week,” National Law Journal (March 2011); “Litigation Department of the Year,” The American Lawyer (January 2016); “Litigation Department of the Year,” The American Lawyer (January 2012); “Litigation Department of the Year,” The American Lawyer (January 2010); and “He’s a Hired Gun of the Highest Caliber,” The Los Angeles Times (June 24, 2007).
Mr. Boutrous is a Fellow of the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers. He has been named a California “Litigation Star” in Benchmark Litigation. Chambers USA ranks him as a leading lawyer in five different categories, describing him as “a combination of smart and pragmatic” with “a complete command of the facts and law,” a “true innovator,” a “go-to guy on cutting-edge cases,” a “formidable litigator,” and “a hugely accomplished appellate lawyer . . . familiar with appeals at all levels and venues.” Legal 500 has named Mr. Boutrous a “Leading Lawyer” for Supreme Court and Appellate litigation for the past three years in a row, calling him a “renowned advocate” and “the preeminent authority on punitive damages defenses in the U.S.” In 2015, The National Law Journal named Mr. Boutrous to its “Trailblazers – Litigation” list, and the San Francisco Recorder named Mr. Boutrous to its 2015 Groundbreakers list. In 2012, Mr. Boutrous was named an “Attorney of the Year” by both the California Lawyer and the San Francisco Recorder, and the Los Angeles and San Francisco Daily Journals named Mr. Boutrous one of the 100 best lawyers in California for the eleventh year in a row. In 2016, the Daily Journal named Mr. Boutrous to its 2016 list of Top Labor and Employment Lawyers. In naming him to its list of the 500 Leading Lawyers in America, Lawdragon calls him “one of the best media and appellate attorneys in the nation,” and the Los Angeles Business Journal describes him as “one of the nation’s most prominent appellate attorneys.”
Mr. Boutrous is a frequent commentator on legal issues. His articles include: “Spare the ‘Dreamers’ a Nightmare by According Them Due Process,” Wall Street Journal (May 2, 2017); “Why I’ll Defend Anyone Trump Sues for Speaking Freely,” Politico.com (October 31, 2016); “Poor Children Need a New Brown v. Board of Education,” Wall Street Journal (August 28, 2016); “A First Amendment Blind Spot,” Wall Street Journal (May 27, 2014); “California Kids Go to Court to Demand a Good Education,” Wall Street Journal (January 28, 2014); “A Radical Departure on Press Freedom,” Wall Street Journal (May 23, 2013); A Killer’s Notebook, a Reporter’s Rights,” New York Times (April 9, 2013) ; “Broadcast ‘Indecency’ on Trial,” Wall Street Journal (January 17, 2012).
Mr. Boutrous is a member of the Advisory Board of the International Women’s Media Foundation and its 2015 Leadership Honoree. He serves on the Business Advisory Council of ProPublica. He is also a sustaining member of the Product Liability Advisory Council.
Mr. Boutrous received his law degree, summa cum laude, from the University of San Diego School of Law in 1987, where he was Valedictorian and Editor-in-Chief of the San Diego Law Review.
Mr. Boutrous is admitted to practice in California, New York and the District of Columbia.