One of the nation’s leading appellate attorneys, Caitlin J. Halligan has argued six cases and served as counsel of record in more than 45 matters in the U.S. Supreme Court, and has handled scores of cases in the federal appellate courts, the New York Court of Appeals, and other state appellate courts. She has been praised for her “impressive track record” by Chambers USA, named one of the “Top 250 Women in Litigation” by Benchmark Litigation, and recognized as one of Crain’s “100 Notable Women in Law.”
Caitlin served as solicitor general for the State of New York from 2001 to 2007, after serving as deputy solicitor general. Before that she served as the first chief of the New York attorney general’s Internet Bureau, where she developed cutting-edge law enforcement and policy initiatives regarding online consumer fraud, securities trading, and privacy practices. Caitlin also served as general counsel to the New York County District Attorney’s Office. She currently teaches a seminar on states and public law as a lecturer on law at Harvard Law School, and previously taught a course on statutory interpretation and administrative law at Columbia Law School. She speaks frequently on topics that include appellate advocacy, the Supreme Court’s docket, and the impact of litigation brought by state attorney general offices.
- Won landmark decision from New York Court of Appeals in Congel v. Malfitano, which set forth standards for dissolution of partnerships under New York law.
- Led coalition of former judges and prosecutors in filing amicus curiae brief in People v. Boone, in which the New York Court of Appeals addressed the reliability of cross-racial eyewitness identifications in criminal cases.
- Argued en banc appeal before U.S. Court of Appeals for Second Circuit in Poventud v. City of New York, which raised complex procedural questions about collateral attacks on the finality of criminal convictions.
- Secured reversal from U.S. Supreme Court for New York State in City of Sherrill v. Oneida Indian Nation, in which the Court clarified state and local government authority over lands once within boundaries of the tribal reservation.
- Won precedent-setting victory for New York counties in United Haulers Association v. Oneida-Herkimer Solid Waste Management Authority, which established the authority of local governments to enact and implement solid waste ordinances in the face of the dormant Commerce Clause.
- Successfully represented life settlement investor Lavastone, an AIG affiliate, in $1 billion RICO, fraud, and breach of contract case against defendants who purchased life insurance policies and sold them to Lavastone at inflated prices. Won dismissal of defendants’ counter-claims at summary judgment; trial resulted in favorable settlement.
- Successfully represented Chevron Corporation in appeal of RICO and civil fraud trial barring enforcement of a fraudulently-obtained $9 billion judgment against Chevron.
- Authored numerous amicus briefs before the U.S. Supreme Court on a range of constitutional, statutory, and procedural issues, on behalf of diverse groups, including state attorneys general, local government officials, and private sector clients.
Caitlin has expertise in a broad variety of civil matters, including challenges to federal and state regulatory action, civil procedure, federal anti-discrimination law, RICO and securities litigation. She has represented clients in high-stakes cases brought by the New York State Attorney General’s Office, and litigated numerous challenges to state and local government actions on constitutional, statutory, and administrative law grounds. During her tenure in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, Caitlin was involved in a wide range of criminal investigations and prosecutions, including the successful defense of a Fourth Amendment criminal procedure case in the U.S. Supreme Court. She has argued scores of civil and criminal cases for private sector clients, as well as New York state and local governments, before New York’s high court and the State intermediate appellate courts, on a wide range of constitutional, statutory, and procedural issues.
Caitlin also has an active public interest practice. In 2018, she was appointed amicus curiae by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in Schroeter v. Barr, to brief and argue issues related to the scope of immigration judges' authority in removal proceedings. Caitlin also recently authored an amicus brief in the New York Court of Appeals regarding use of eyewitness identification evidence, on behalf of former judges and prosecutors, as well as amicus briefs in a death penalty case before the U.S. Supreme Court, a reproductive rights case before the Eighth Circuit, and a case regarding liability of military service academies for sexual assault committed on campus before the Second Circuit. Caitlin previously served as pro bono counsel to the Board of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, an entity charged with leading re-development of the World Trade Center site, and on several judicial selection committees.
Affiliations & Community Involvement
Caitlin earned her J.D., magna cum laude, from the Georgetown University Law Center, and her B.A., cum laude, from Princeton University. She clerked for the Honorable Justice Stephen Breyer of the U.S. Supreme Court and the Honorable Patricia Wald of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. Caitlin is a member of the American Law Institute and a fellow of the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers. She serves on the board of Princeton-in-Asia, the Arc’s Criminal Justice Advisory Panel, and the New York County District Attorney’s Conviction Integrity Committee.
- Georgetown University Law Center
Magna cum laude, Order of the Coif, Georgetown Law Review: Managing Editor; Olin Fellow in Law and Economics
- Princeton University
Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP
Partner and Co-Chair of the Appellate and Constitutional Law Practice Group, 2014-2019
New York County District Attorney’s Office
General Counsel, 2010-2013
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP
New York Attorney General’s Office
Solicitor General, 2001-2007
First Deputy Solicitor General, 2001
Chief, Internet Bureau, 1999-2000
Law Clerk to Justice Stephen Breyer
United States Supreme Court, 1997-1998
Law Clerk to the Hon. Patricia Wald
United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, 1995-1996
- Maryland Bar
- New York Bar
- Supreme Court of the United States
- United States Courts of Appeals: First Circuit, Second Circuit, Third Circuit, Fourth Circuit, Fifth Circuit, Sixth Circuit, Ninth Circuit, Eleventh Circuit, and Federal Circuit
- United States District Courts: Eastern District of New York, Southern District of New York