Derek L. Shaffer

Derek L. Shaffer

Partner, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP

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 as well as its National Appellate 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 obtain a series of path-breaking decisions that have helped shape patent law. He has led the 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, discovery, 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.