Legal Team

Theodore B. Olson

olsonTheodore B. Olson is lead co-counsel for Plaintiffs in Vergara v. California. Mr. Olson is a partner in Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher’s Washington, D.C. office, a member of the firm’s Executive Committee, Co-Chair of the Appellate and Constitutional Law Gr
oup and the firm’s Crisis Management Team.

Watch video clips from Mr. Olson’s keynote presentation on Vergara v. California and interview with former U.S. Secretary of State Dr. Condoleezza Rice at the Foundation for Excellence in Education’s 2013 National Summit on Education Reform.

Mr. Olson was Solicitor General of the United States during the period 2001-2004. From 1981-1984 he was Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Office of Legal Counsel in the U.S. Department of Justice. Except for those two intervals, he has been a lawyer with Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. since 1965.

Selected by Time magazine in 2010 as one of the 100 most influential people in the world, Mr. Olson is one of the nation’s premier appellate and United States Supreme Court advocates. He has argued 60 cases in the Supreme Court, including the two Bush v. Gore cases arising out of the 2000 presidential election, and Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, prevailing in over 75% of those arguments. Mr. Olson’s practice is concentrated on appellate and constitutional law, federal legislation, media and commercial disputes, and assisting clients with strategies for the containment, management and resolution of major legal crises occurring at the federal/state, criminal/civil and domestic/international levels. He has handled cases at all levels of state and federal court systems throughout the United States, and in international tribunals.

Mr. Olson’s Supreme Court arguments have included cases involving separation of powers; federalism; voting rights; the First Amendment; the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses; jury trial rights; punitive damages; takings of property and just compensation; the Commerce Clause; taxation; criminal law; copyright; antitrust; securities; campaign finance; telecommunications; the environment; the internet; and other federal constitutional and statutory questions.

As Solicitor General, during the presidency of George W. Bush, Mr. Olson was the Government’s principal advocate in the United States Supreme Court, responsible for supervising and coordinating all appellate litigation of the United States, and a legal adviser to the President and the Attorney General. As Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel during the Reagan Administration, Mr. Olson was the Executive Branch’s principal legal adviser, rendering legal guidance to the President and to the heads of the Executive Branch departments on a wide range of constitutional and federal statutory questions, and assisting in formulating and articulating the Executive Branch’s position on constitutional issues.

Mr. Olson has served as private counsel to two Presidents, Ronald W. Reagan and George W. Bush, in addition to serving those two Presidents in high-level positions in the Department of Justice. He has twice been awarded the United States Department of Justice’s Edmund J. Randolph Award, its highest award for public service and leadership, and also received the Department of Defense’s highest civilian award for his advocacy in the courts of the United States, including the Supreme Court.

Mr. Olson is an appointee of President Obama to the ten-member Council of the Administrative Conference of the United States, a member of the Board of Trustees on the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and the Board of Directors of the National Center for State Courts. He was a visiting scholar at the National Constitution Center in 2007. He served on the President’s Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board from 2006 to 2008. He was Co-Chair of the Knight Commission on the Information Needs of Communities in a Democracy from 2008-2009.

Mr. Olson is a Fellow of both the American College of Trial Lawyers and the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers. The National Law Journal has repeatedly listed him as one of America’s Most Influential Lawyers. The American Lawyer and Legal Times have characterized Mr. Olson as one of America’s leading advocates. In 2011, Washingtonian magazine listed him as number one on its compilation of the finest lawyers in the nation’s capital. The late New York Times columnist William Safire described Mr. Olson as this generation’s “most persuasive advocate” before the Supreme Court and “the most effective Solicitor General” in decades.

Mr. Olson received his law degree in 1965 from the University of California at Berkeley (Boalt Hall) where he was a member of the California Law Review and Order of the Coif. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of the Pacific, where he was recognized as the outstanding graduating student in both forensics and journalism. He has written and lectured extensively on appellate advocacy, oral communication in the courtroom, civil justice reform, punitive damages, and constitutional and administrative law.

Theodore J. Boutrous

BoutrousTheodore J. Boutrous, Jr., is lead co-counsel for Plaintiffs in Vergara v. California. Mr. Boutrous is a partner in the Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. offices of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher and is Co-Chair of the firm’s Appellate and Constitutional Law Group, its Media and Entertainment Group, the Crisis Management Group, and the Transnational Litigation and Foreign Judgments Group. He is a member of the firm’s Executive and Management Committees.

Read Mr. Boutrous’ op-ed about Vergara v. California in The Wall Street Journal: California Kids Go to Court to Demand a Good Education.

Watch Mr. Boutrous present Plaintiffs’ closing arguments and closing argument rebuttal on the last day of the historic Vergara v. California trial.

Mr. Boutrous has represented clients in the federal and state appellate courts throughout the nation in a wide spectrum of cases, including punitive damages, class action, securities, employment, environmental, insurance, product liability, antitrust, business torts, privacy, arbitration, criminal and constitutional litigation. He is responsible for the nationwide appellate strategy for several major companies, and has successfully persuaded courts to overturn some of the largest jury verdicts and class actions in history.

Mr. Boutrous also represents media organizations, reporters, and others in a wide array of First Amendment, access, subpoena, defamation, freedom of information, prior restraint, newsgathering and copyright matters.

As both a crisis management strategist and a seasoned appellate and media lawyer, Mr. Boutrous has wide-ranging 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 and provides strategic counseling to address legal, legislative, regulatory and public relations aspects of such matters.

The Los Angeles and San Francisco Daily Journals have named Mr. Boutrous one of the 100 best lawyers in California for seven years in a row. Lawdragon named him to the 2011 guide to the 500 Leading Lawyers in America, calling him “One of the best media and appellate attorneys in the nation.” The American Lawyer called Mr. Boutrous “a media law star,” the Los Angeles Business Journal described him as “one of the nation’s most prominent appellate attorneys” and the San Francisco Recorder named him one of the 2009 Attorneys of the Year. Mr. Boutrous received the ACLU of Southern California’s First Amendment Award in 2002. He is Co-Chair of the Board of Directors of the International Women’s Media Foundation and a member of the Board of Directors of the California Supreme Court Historical Society. He also is a member of the Business Advisory Council of ProPublica, an independent, non-profit newsroom that produces investigative journalism in the public interest.

Numerous profiles of Mr. Boutrous and his practice have appeared in the media. Prominent mentions include: Selected as one of the “Attorneys of the Year 2011,” The Recorder (February 20, 2012); “Litigator of the Week,” 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 2012); “Litigation Department of the Year,” The American Lawyer (January 2010); “Anatomy of a Complaint,” California Lawyer (January 2010); “Litigator of the Week,” Am Law Litigation Daily (February 20, 2009); “The Kill Step,” The American Lawyer/Corporate Counsel (October 2009); “He’s a Hired Gun of the Highest Caliber,” The Los Angeles Times (June 24, 2007); “Special Appeal,” Los Angeles Business Journal (July 26, 2004); “Jackson Case Stirs First Amendment Guru,” Daily Journal Extra (February 23, 2004); and “45 under 45,” The American Lawyer (January 2003).

Mr. Boutrous is a frequent commentator on legal issues. His articles on appellate issues include “Due Process for Exxon,” Wall Street Journal (October 23, 2007); “Successfully Challenging Punitive Damage Awards: Winning Strategies After State Farm v. Campbell” (2003 Monograph, National Legal Center for the Public Interest); “What’s Next for Punitive Damage Awards,” Wall Street Journal (May 29, 1996); and “Constitutional Challenges to Punitive Damages after BMW v. Gore” (1998 Monograph, National Legal Center for the Public Interest).

His extensive writings on First Amendment and media law issues include “The Four Myths Surrounding the Common Law Reporter’s Privilege,” Media Law Resources Center (January 2007); “Memory Abuse,” Wall Street Journal (January 13, 2007); “First Amendment on Trial,” Wall Street Journal (August 19, 2006); “Rule 6(e) and the Public’s Right to Know,” Wall Street Journal (August 17, 1998); “Judicial Proceedings and Records ‘Ancillary to the Grand Jury’ in High-Profile Cases,” Media Law Resource Center (January 2005); “Celebrity Justice: A New Double Standard,” ABA Communications Lawyer (Fall 2004), at 3; “Retooling the Federal Common-Law Reporter’s Privilege,” Communications Lawyer, Vol. 17, No. 1 (Spring 1999); and “Why an Expanded Common-Law Privilege Should Also Protect the Media,” Communications Lawyer, Volume 15, Number 1 (Spring 1997).

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.

Marcellus McRae

McRaeMarcellus Antonio McRae is lead co-counsel for Plaintiffs in Vergara v. California. Mr. McRae is a partner in the Los Angeles office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. He is a member of the firm’s Litigation, White Collar Defense and Investigations, Government and Commercial Contracts, and Media, Entertainment and Technology Practice Groups.  Mr. McRae’s litigation and white-collar criminal defense practices focus on a wide variety of business disputes, internal investigations, and criminal prosecutions including defense of individuals and corporations in cases involving allegations of: financial fraud, false claims act violations, public corruption, violation of federal and state environmental laws, health care fraud, wrongful death, criminal antitrust violations, and other matters.  He also represents and advises employers in wrongful termination, retaliation, and whistleblower claims.

Watch Mr. McRae present Plaintiffs’ closing arguments on the last day of the historic Vergara v. California trial.

Mr. McRae has first chaired numerous jury trials, bench trials, and arbitrations in both federal and state courts. He also writes and speaks on trial and litigation skills, white-collar criminal defense, labor and employment law, and other topics. From 1995 until joining Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher in February 1998, Mr. McRae served as an Assistant United States Attorney with the Criminal Division, Major Frauds Section, of the United States Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles. While he was an Assistant United States Attorney, Mr. McRae investigated and prosecuted complex white-collar crimes (tax, securities, bankruptcy, and other business frauds) and traditional crimes that involved both jury and non-jury trial experience with a 100 percent conviction rate at trial. He also drafted numerous appellate briefs filed in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and had several arguments before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Prior to joining the United States Attorney’s Office, Mr. McRae was an associate with Debevoise & Plimpton.

Mr. McRae has been recognized in such publications as The Best Lawyers in America®.  He was also listed among the top “20 Under 40″ California lawyers by the Daily Journal in 2003.  In January 2004, Mr. McRae was selected by Law & Politics magazine as one of California’s “Superlawyers” in the area of Business Litigation, based on a survey of more than 65,000 California lawyers.  He was named in 2006 among the “New Stars, New Worlds” by Lawdragon magazine, which features up-and-coming talent and lawyers with fascinating new practices.

Some of Mr. McRae’s achievements include:

Trials and Litigation

  • Successful defense at trial of Vestin Realty Mortgage I and II in a nationwide class action alleging that the merger of funds into the trusts constituted a “roll up.”
  • Successful defense of Nutro Products, Inc. in an eight-week jury trial in a mass action in which homeowners claimed that the company’s production facility emitted a nuisance odor.
  • Defending major corporations in qui tam litigations and parallel proceedings involving False Claim Act violation allegations.
  • Representation of an I.R.A. administrator in a class action against claims that it aided and abetted a fraud against investors.
  • Representation of Pacific Maritime Association and members in a federal court action involving claims of gender and race discrimination, harassment and retaliation.
  • Successful defense of Dean Witter Reynolds, Inc. in a jury trial against allegations that it defrauded California Union Insurance Company into issuing performance and property coverage on several wind turbine farms.
  • Successful defense at trial of a film and television celebrity in a palimony action.
  • Representation of Deloitte & Touche LLP in a state court action involving allegations of age and race discrimination.
  • Successful defense of ITT Educational Services in a False Claims Act retaliatory discharge action both at the trial level by obtaining summary judgment and at the appellate level by securing affirmance of the summary judgment ruling.
  • Representation of PricewaterhouseCoopers in a state court action involving allegations of gender discrimination and failure to promote.
  • Representation of United Parcel Service in a state court action involving allegations of sexual harassment.
  • Successful defense of one of world’s leading media and entertainment companies in a three-week arbitration involving claims for profit participation in a syndicated series.
  • Successful defense of ConAgra Foods, Inc. in a four-week jury trial involving breach of contract and fraud claims arising from the termination of a beef distribution relationship.
  • Represented one of the leading watch manufacturers and one of the world’s largest retailers in a federal trademark infringement litigation.

White Collar Defense and Investigations 

  • Counseled multinational corporations in various aspects of the foreign corrupt practice act.
  • Represented domestic and international clients in export control enforcement matters and investigations.
  • Represented major corporations in federal grand jury investigations involving contract and payment disputes with various regulatory agencies.
  • Defended municipality in a federal criminal investigation alleging Clean Water Act violations. No charges were filed.
  • Defended retailers in civil class action and criminal proceedings involving pricing accuracy claims.
  • Defended elected official in a public corruption investigation. No charges were filed.
  • Defended food and beverage manufacturers in federal criminal investigations alleging Clean Water Act violations.
  • Defended maritime company in federal criminal investigation alleging violation of the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships. No charges were filed.
  • Conducted a wide range of internal investigations concerning financial controls and procedures, executive misconduct, government contracting improprieties, and alleged violations of federal election campaign laws, federal communications commission rules and regulations, kickback, fraud, and other federal and state laws.

Mr. McRae is currently a member of the Pacific Council on International Policy; the Board of Advocates of Human Rights First; the Los Angeles County Bar Association Committee on Diversity in the Profession; and on the Boards of Directors of Public Counsel, Friends of the Expo Center, Friends of the Los Angeles County Law Library, and Big Brothers Big Sisters. He speaks regularly at law conferences and seminars.

Mr. McRae received his law degree from Harvard Law School in 1988. He earned a B.A. degree summa cum laude in 1985 from the University of California at Los Angeles, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.

Read an op-ed from Mr. McRae on the civil rights implications of Vergara v. California.

Joshua S. Lipshutz

JLipshutz-Press-214x300Joshua S. Lipshutz is a partner in the San Francisco office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher and one of the principal trial attorneys representing the nine student plaintiffs challenging California education laws dealing with tenure, dismissal and seniority in Vergara v. California. Read Mr. Lipshutz’ op-ed about Vergara v. California in The Wall Street Journal: The Legal Road Map to Better Public Schools.

Also, watch a video of Mr. Lipshutz discussing Vergara v. California at a TEACHED event in San Francisco.

Mr. Lipshutz currently practices in the firm’s Litigation Department and its Appellate and Constitutional Law Practice Group. In recent representative appellate matters, Mr. Lipshutz has asked the Ninth Circuit to rule that “no injury” class-action plaintiffs lack Article III standing; drafted an amicus curiae brief in the U.S. Supreme Court challenging the constitutionality of the minimum coverage provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; and represented the plaintiffs in their Ninth Circuit federal constitutional challenge to California’s ban on same-sex marriage, Proposition 8.

Before joining the firm, Mr. Lipshutz represented financial services firms in shareholder and investor actions under Delaware, New York and California law, the federal Securities Act of 1933, and the Investment Company Act of 1940. His appellate experience spanned matters involving constitutional law, federal securities law, and various procedural and jurisdictional issues. Examples of such work included briefing before the U.S. Supreme Court regarding the constitutionality of state and local handgun bans, briefing before the California Supreme Court regarding the concurrent jurisdiction of state courts under the Securities Litigation Uniform Standards Act, and briefing before the Ninth Circuit regarding post-merger shareholder derivative standing. Mr. Lipshutz has also successfully represented individuals pro bono in immigration matters.

Mr. Lipshutz served as a judicial clerk to the Honorable Alex Kozinski of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and to the Honorable Antonin Scalia of the Supreme Court of the United States. He graduated Order of the Coif from Stanford Law School, where he was Senior Articles Editor of the Stanford Law Review. He received his undergraduate degrees, summa cum laude, in finance and systems engineering from the University of Pennsylvania. In addition to practicing law, Mr. Lipshutz worked as a principal investment professional at Silver Lake Partners and as an investment banking associate at Goldman, Sachs & Co.

Mr. Lipshutz is admitted to practice law in the State of California and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Theane Evangelis

Theane-Evangelis-KapurTheane Evangelis is an appellate and general commercial litigation partner in the Los Angeles office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher.  She is a member of its Appellate and Constitutional Law, Class Action and Complex Litigation, Securities Litigation, Media and Entertainment, and Crisis Management Practice Groups and serves on the Firm’s Hiring Committee.  Ms. Evangelis joined Gibson Dunn after serving as a law clerk to Justice Sandra Day O’Connor during October Term 2004 and as an associate with Ziffren Brittenham, a Los Angeles law firm specializing in entertainment and media transactions.  Before clerking for Justice O’Connor, Ms. Evangelis was a law clerk to Chief Judge Alex Kozinski of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Ms. Evangelis has played a substantial role in a wide range of employment, consumer, wage-and-hour, and securities class actions, as well as constitutional, media and entertainment, and crisis management matters. Recent representative matters include persuading the Supreme Court of the United States to reverse the certification of the largest employment class action in American history; representing the plaintiffs in the successful federal constitutional challenge to California’s ban on same-sex marriage, Proposition 8; persuading the Ninth Circuit to grant interlocutory review of a decision certifying a major wage-and-hour class action; winning a dismissal with prejudice of a putative nationwide consumer class action filed in federal court against a technology company, which was subsequently affirmed by the Ninth Circuit; securing a dismissal, with prejudice, in favor of Starbucks Corporation in a contractual dispute with singer-songwriter Carly Simon; winning a dismissal with prejudice of a putative nationwide securities class action filed in federal court; and obtaining reversal on constitutional grounds of a significant punitive damage award in state court.

Ms. Evangelis graduated summa cum laude from New York University School of Law in 2003 and received the University Graduation Prize, which is awarded to the student with the highest grade point average in the graduating class.  During law school, she was a Butler and Pomeroy Scholar and served as Managing Editor of the New York University Law Review.

Prior to law school, Ms. Evangelis served as a legislative assistant to former U.S. Representative Max Sandlin, for whom she handled financial services, technology, and foreign affairs legislation.  She received a B.S. in Foreign Service, cum laude, from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service.

Ms. Evangelis is a recipient of the prestigious Burton Award for legal writing.  She is a member of the California bar and is admitted to practice in the Supreme Court of the United States, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and all federal courts in California.  Ms. Evangelis also serves on the board of the California Women’s Law Center and as an Advisory Board Member of the Los Angeles Greek Film Festival.  She has been named one of “Greek America’s Forty under 40” by the Greek America Foundation.  Ms. Evangelis was named by Southern California Super Lawyers as a “Rising Star” in the Los Angeles Magazine in the category of Appellate Law, and was recognized as one of the 25 Most Intriguing Greek Americans of 2010 by Greek America Magazine for her work challenging Proposition 8.