David B. Rivkin

David B. Rivkin, Jr.

Partner, Baker & Hostetler LLP

David B. Rivkin, Jr., is a partner in the Washington office of Baker Hostetler LLP, and Co-Chairs the Firm’s Appellate and Major Motions practice.  He is also a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies.  He specializes in litigation and regulatory work, with a particular emphasis on constitutional, international law and public policy issues. 

Mr. Rivkin has been involved in litigating numerous high-profile cases. He is the lead counsel in the civil rights case brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against several Wisconsin state government officials, who have initiated a sprawling John Doe investigation directed solely at conservative and right-of-center policy advocacy groups in the State of Wisconsin.  He also is the lead counsel in the lawsuit brought by the Texas Home School Coalition, challenging the constitutionality of the Texas Ethics Commission’s campaign finance regulations. 

As part of Baker Hostetler’s role as court-appointed counsel to the Securities Investor Protection Corporation Trustee for the liquidation of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, David is responsible for litigating more than half a dozen Second Circuit and Supreme Court cases.  David is also a lead lawyer on a team that represents a former London-based JP Morgan managing director, whose cooperation was sought in the investigation related to a multibillion-dollar trading loss for the bank. 

He has represented the 26 States that have challenged the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and was the lead outside counsel in the District Court and Court of Appeals. He also represented for a number of years the Republic of Croatia before the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and the International Court of Justice on a wide range of issues involving international humanitarian law and the laws of war.

Mr. Rivkin also has considerable experience with litigation involving national security-related matters, including defending Bivens actions brought against former Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld. He also represented Texas and Wyoming in their challenge to the key EPA greenhouse gas regulations, issued under the Clean Air Act. From 2004 through 2007, he served as an expert member of the United Nations Subcommission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights.

Before returning to the private sector, Mr. Rivkin served in a variety of legal and policy positions in the Reagan and George H. W. Bush Administrations, including stints in the White House Counsel's office, Office of the Vice President and the Departments of Justice and Energy.  Prior to embarking on a legal career, he served as a defense and foreign policy analyst, focusing on Soviet affairs, arms control, naval strategy and NATO-related issues.

Mr. Rivkin holds a J.D. degree from Columbia University Law School, a Masters degree in Soviet Affairs from Georgetown University, and a Bachelors of Science degree from the Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service.  He is a recipient of numerous academic and professional awards, including Phi Alpha Theta (1981), U.S. Naval Proceedings annual Alfred Thayer Mahan Award for the best maritime affairs article (1984), and the Burton Award for Legal Achievement (2011).   

Mr. Rivkin is a member of the District of Columbia Bar and the Council on Foreign Relations. He is a prolific writer and has published numerous papers, articles, op eds, book reviews, and book chapters on a variety of international, legal, constitutional, defense, arms control, foreign policy, environmental and energy issues for various newspapers and magazines, including the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Washington Times, Los Angeles Times, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, National Interest, National Review, Policy Review, Harvard Journal of Law & Policy, American University Law Review, Administrative Law Journal, University of Pennsylvania Law Review, and University of Chicago Journal of International Law

He has been a frequent commentator and guest on TV and radio shows, including CNN, NBC and MSNBC, CBS, ABC, FOX News, NPR, PBS, BBC, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, and numerous Australian, French, German and Swiss TV stations.  

  • J.D., Columbia University School of Law, 1985
  • M.A., Soviet Affairs, Georgetown University, 1984, with high honors
  • B.S.F.S., Georgetown University, 1980