Quinn emanuel trial lawyers

Shaffer, Derek L.

Derek L. Shaffer

Partner

  Biography

Derek Shaffer has deep experience litigating a wide range of complex matters, including cases involving governmental entities and unsettled questions of constitutional and statutory law.

Mr. Shaffer is Co-Chair of the firm’s Government & Regulatory Litigation practice and has served as lead attorney or otherwise played central roles in many high-profile trial and appellate matters. To date, he has litigated for and against various States and has handled cases before numerous tribunals, including the U.S. Supreme Court, U.S. courts of appeals and district courts, state supreme courts, administrative tribunals, and regulatory boards. He has particular expertise handling disputes against the United States and its agencies as well as against regulators at the state and local levels. 

In litigation between private parties, Mr. Shaffer has handled a variety of high-stakes matters involving a diverse array of subject matter. Among other things, he has vindicated First Amendment rights to public expression in defending against defamation claims. He helped Samsung obtain a series of favorable decisions against Apple that have shaped important aspects of patent  law. He is leading defense of parallel class actions in federal and state courts. He won appellate precedent  establishing the inability of private arbitrators to compel document production from a third party outside of a hearing. 

Mr. Shaffer  is comfortable handling all phases of litigation – through inception, trial, and appeal.  And he no less accomplished building factual records and examining witnesses in trial courts throughout the United States than he is arguing legal questions before the highest appellate tribunals. 

  Representative Clients

  • Americans for Prosperity & Americans for Prosperity Foundation
  • Robert Kraft
  • Express Scripts
  • Caltech
  • Gartner, Inc.
  • Agility Public Warehousing Co.
  • Koch Industries
  • Marvell Technology Group
  • U.S. Tobacco Cooperative Inc.
  • Wedgewood Pharmacy
  • FBME Bank
  • Samsung
  • Megaupload & Kim Dotcom
  • Wexford Capital
  • States of Alabama, Florida, Hawaii, Michigan and Tennessee

  Notable Representations

  • Led motions practice and legal strategy for the defense of Robert Kraft against state prosecution for alleged solicitation in Palm Beach County. To date, Mr. Kraft has successfully obtained sealing and suppression of videotapes that were made of him, based on rulings that his constitutional rights were violated.
  • Won a published decision from a unanimous panel of the D.C. Circuit, reversing a district court that had refused, on statute-of-limitations grounds, to enter a default judgment against Iran for its role sponsoring Al Qaeda’s attack that killed the family member of firm clients (alongside scores of others) working at the US Embassy in Kenya in 1998. See Maalouf v. Islamic Republic of Iran, 923 F.3d 1095 (D.C. Cir 2019).
  • Won pro bono victory protecting the First Amendment rights of a young woman who was sued by a wealthy foreign scion, who alleged our client had defamed him by blogging about sexual assault she suffered while growing up as a teenager abroad. Following grant of a an Anti-SLAPP motion by D.C. Superior Court, Mr. Shaffer obtained an award of attorney’s fees as well as an important precedent protecting the rights of victims who speak out against sexual abuse.
  • Won appeal to the Ninth Circuit via published opinion holding that arbitrators lack authority under Section 7 of the Federal Arbitration Act to subpoena documents from third parties separate and apart from compelling attendance at an arbitration hearing. See CVS v. Vividus, 878 F.3d 703 (9th Cir. 2017).
  • Won complete dismissal in Connecticut Superior Court of claims for defamation and unfair trade practices that were brought against a client based on published reviews of technology vendors and their relative standing. In granting summary judgment, the Connecticut court agreed that the relevant claims were foreclosed by the First Amendment and also without merit.
  • Won a preliminary injunction, based on the First Amendment, preventing the Attorney General of California from demanding that a 501(c)(3) nonprofit disclose a list of its major donors nationwide.
  • Won a preliminary injunction, based on the Administrative Procedure Act, preventing the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) Bureau of the Department of Treasury from implementing a sanction under Section 311 of the Patriot Act that stood to deny U.S. dollars and correspondent accounts to a foreign bank that FinCEN alleged to be “of primary money laundering concern.” See FBME Bank Ltd. v. Lew, 125 F.Supp.3d 109 (D.D.C. 2015).
  • Helped obtain reversal by the Federal Circuit of a district court’s grant of injunction requested by Apple to block Samsung’s sale of the Galaxy Nexus, which reversal was preceded by initial grant of emergency stay pending appeal and followed by denial of rehearing en banc. See Apple v. Samsung, 695 F.3d 1370 (Fed Cir. 2012).
  • Obtained all-but-unprecedented decision by the International Trade Commission to dismiss, without instituting investigation, a drug manufacturer’s attempt to block importations by a variety of entities engaged in drug compounding.
  • Won from the D.C. Circuit reversal and vacatur of the Drug Enforcement Administration's adverse administrative decision that had foreclosed a client engaged in nationwide drug compounding from handling controlled substances. See Wedgewood Village Pharmacy v. DEA, 509 F.3d 541 (2007).
  • Obtained a confidential settlement in excess of $20 million in a large intellectual property dispute between former co-venturers.
  • Successfully represented the State of Tennessee in federal district court and then the Sixth Circuit, winning series of decisions that paved the way for Medicaid reforms by overcoming class-action disputes based on governing consent decrees. See John B. v. Emkes, 852 F.Supp.2d 957 (M.D. Tenn. 2012); John B. v. Goetz, 626 F.3d 356 (6th Cir. 2010); John B. v. Goetz, 531 F.3d 448 (6th Cir. 2008); Rosen v. Goetz, 410 F.3d 919 (6th Cir. 2005).
  • Successfully represented Governor Acevedo-Villa in federal district court and then the First Circuit in a constitutional dispute over ballots that ultimately determined the result of Puerto Rico's 2004 gubernatorial election. See Rossello-Gonzalez v. Calderon-Serra, 398 F.3d. 1 (1st Cir. 2004).
  • Obtained from the U.S. Department of Agriculture an unprecedented payment of attorney's fees after successfully exonerating circus entities over the course of protracted, hotly-contested administrative proceedings.

  Education

  • Stanford Law School
    (J.D., 2000)
    • Nathan Abbott Scholar (graduated first in his class)
    • Order of the Coif

  • Cornell University, College of Industrial & Labor Relations
    (B.S., 1996)
    • Valedictorian

  Admissions

The Bar of the District of Columbia; The State Bar of California; United States Supreme Court; United States Courts of Appeals: Second Circuit, Fourth Circuit, Fifth Circuit, Sixth Circuit, Ninth Circuit, Eleventh Circuit; District of Columbia Circuit, Federal Circuit; United States District Courts: District of Columbia, Central District of California; Court of Federal Claims

  Prior Associations

  • Cooper & Kirk, PLLC:
    • Partner, 2001-2012

  • Stanford Constitutional Law Center:
    • Executive Director and Lecturer in Law, 2006-2008

  • Law Clerk to Chief Judge Douglas H. Ginsburg:
    • United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, 2000-2001

  Awards

  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America 2020 guide for Appellate Practice.
  • Named as "Super Lawyer" in General Litigation and a “Rising Star” for Washington, D.C. in 2013 by Super Lawyers.

Professional Activities

  • Member, American Bar Association
  • Stanford Law School:
    • Lecturer in First Amendment and Constitutional Litigation, 2006-2008