Patricia Millett Nominated By President Obama As Federal Appeals Court Judge

Wednesday, June 5, 2013 - 10:27


Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP has announced that Patricia A. Millett, head of the firm’s Supreme Court practice and co-head of its national appellate practice, was nominated on June 4 by President Barack Obama to serve as a federal appeals court judge for the DC Circuit. 

During her career, Ms. Millett has argued 32 cases before the Supreme Court – among the most of any woman – as well as 36 in the courts of appeals. Prior to her tenure at Akin Gump, Ms. Millett served for more than 10 years as an assistant to the Solicitor General in the Office of the Solicitor General at the U.S. Department of Justice and, before that, in the Department of Justice’s Civil Division, Appellate Staff. 

In March 2013, Ms. Millett was recognized by The National Law Journal as among the “100 Most Influential Lawyers in America,” which noted her ongoing work on “high-profile, high-stakes cases” before the Supreme Court and on the appellate circuit. In June 2013, Akin Gump’s appellate practice was named for the sixth consecutive year to The National Law Journal’s “Appellate Hot List,” which recognizes the achievements of firms “doing killer appellate work before the Supreme Court, federal circuit courts of appeal and state courts of last resort.”

* * *

An Akin Gump pro bono effort on behalf of the Inter Tribal Council of Arizona yielded victory at the U.S. Supreme Court in a voting rights case that involved a restrictive voter registration law that had denied tens of thousands of U.S. citizens the right to vote in federal elections. 

In a 7-2 decision in Arizona v. Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, Inc., the Court ruled that the state of Arizona cannot require voters to provide proof of citizenship beyond that stipulated by the Federal Form developed by the federal Election Assistance Commission, which requires a signed affirmation, under penalty of perjury, that one is a U.S. citizen. 

The Court thus struck down an Arizona law that required “voter-registration officials to ‘reject’ any application for registration, including a Federal Form, that is not accompanied by documentary evidence of citizenship” and held that “Arizona’s evidence-of-citizenship requirement, as applied to Federal Form applicants, is pre-empted by the [National Voter Registration Act]’s mandate that States ‘accept and use’ the Federal Form.”

Patricia Millett argued the case before the Court on behalf of the plaintiffs.  Litigation senior counsel Michael Small and counsel Christopher Egleson both assisted with argument preparation and contributed to the briefing.

* * *

Akin Gump’s appellate practice, co-led by Washington, D.C. partner and Supreme Court practice head Patricia Millett and Los Angeles partner Rex Heinke, is nationally recognized for its exceptionally experienced and respected figures in the courtroom. Over the past year, in addition to its recognition by The National Law Journal, the practice was named as among the “Top Appellate Practices” in California by the Recorder and an “Appellate MVP” by Law360. Mr. Heinke was named by California Lawyer as one of its Attorneys of the Year.

* * *

Akin Gump has bolstered its corporate practice further in Asia with the addition of Li Chen as a partner in the firm’s Beijing office. She joins the firm from Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP.

Ms. Chen has more than a decade’s worth of experience handling cross-border transactions in China. Her practice concentrates on outbound and cross-border mergers and acquisitions and foreign direct investment, with a focus on major Chinese state-owned enterprises.

* * *

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP is pleased to announce the launch of its new Speaking Energy blog,

The blog is intended to provide readers with legal analysis, industry sector news and updates on regulatory topics, legislation and court decisions affecting the energy industry. Blog contributors will include energy attorneys from across the firm, including those who practice in the areas of renewable energy, project finance and tax.