Miguel A. Estrada

Miguel A. Estrada

Partner, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP

Miguel A. Estrada is a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher.  He is Co-Chair of the firm's Appellate and Constitutional Law Practice Group.

Mr. Estrada has represented clients in federal and state courts throughout the country and in international arbitrations. For example, Mr. Estrada has acted as lead counsel for PricewaterhouseCoopers in international arbitrations under UNCITRAL rules.  He was a lead attorney for Aetna in dozens of class actions against the managed care industry that the Judicial Panel for Multidistrict Litigation consolidated in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida. In re Managed Care Litigation(MDL No. 1334).  He was also lead counsel for Clear Channel, the largest radio station owner in the country, in a challenge to the Federal Communications Commission’s media ownership rules. Prometheus Radio Project v. FCC(3d Cir. 2004).  He currently is lead counsel for NBC Universal in a challenge to the FCC’s enforcement regime for regulating purportedly “indecent” broadcasts.

Mr. Estrada has handled a broad range of matters before the United States Supreme Court.  He has argued 19 cases before that Court, and briefed many others.  Representative matters include:

  • In Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings v. Metabolite Laboratories, Inc.(2006), he persuaded the Court to leave undisturbed a Federal Circuit ruling upholding the validity of a two-step process patent setting forth a method for diagnosing vitamin deficiencies. 
  • In Northern Insurance Co. of New York v. Chatham County(2006), he persuaded the Court to rule unanimously that counties are not entitled to invoke sovereign immunity in admiralty actions.
  • In Aetna v. Davila Health(2004), he persuaded the Supreme Court to rule unanimously that federal law preempts state laws that give patients the right to sue managed care organizations.
  • In Strickler v. Greene(1999), he argued on behalf of a death row inmatepro bonoin a challenge to his conviction and sentence.  

Mr. Estrada was also part of the team that successfully presented then-Governor Bush’s position to the Supreme Court inBush v. Gore(2000).  Other cases that Mr. Estrada handled in the Supreme Court includeGranholm v. Heald, 544 U.S. 460 (2005) (dormant Commerce Clause and Twenty-First Amendment),Vermont Agency of Natural Resources v. United States ex rel. Stevens(2000) (False Claims Act, Article III standing and Eleventh Amendment immunity),Old Chief v. United States(1997) (rules of evidence),United States v. Mezzanatto(1995) (evidence and plea bargaining),United States v. Robertson(1995) (constitutional limits on Congress’ Commerce Clause powers),Citizens Bank of Md. v. Strumpf(1995) (bankruptcy law), andNOW, Inc. v. Scheidler(1994) (RICO).

From 1992 until 1997, Mr. Estrada served as Assistant to the Solicitor General of the United States.  He previously served as Assistant U.S. Attorney and Deputy Chief of the Appellate Section, U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of New York.  In those capacities, Mr. Estrada represented the government in numerous jury trials and in many appeals before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.  Before joining the U.S. Attorney's Office, Mr. Estrada practiced corporate law in New York with Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz.

Mr. Estrada is a Trustee of the Supreme Court Historical Society.  He also is a member of the Board of Visitors of the Harvard Law School.  In July 2004, Legal Times named him one of the top twelve appellate litigators in the D.C. area, noting that “people who follow appellate practice in Washington have known for several years that Estrada . . . is one of the best around.”  In December 2004,Washingtonian Magazinenamed him one of the top constitutional law lawyers "who could become one of the legends of the Supreme Court bar."  In 2010,Chambers & Partnersnamed him as one of the a handful of attorneys that it ranked in the top tier among the nation's leading appellate lawyers, describing him as "an unbelievably smart attorney with a creative approach to cases and a real fighting spirit."  He was also selected by his peers for inclusion in the 2011 edition ofThe Best Lawyers in America®in the specialties of Appellate Law, Commercial Litigation and Criminal Defense: White Collar.

Mr. Estrada served as a law clerk to the Honorable Anthony M. Kennedy in the U.S. Supreme Court from 1988-1989 and to the Honorable Amalya L. Kearse in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit from 1986-1987.  He received a J.D. degreemagna cum laudein 1986 from Harvard Law School, where he was editor of theHarvard Law Review.  Mr. Estrada graduated with an A.B. degreemagna cum laudeand Phi Beta Kappa in 1983 from Columbia College, New York.  He is fluent in Spanish.

  • Harvard University, 1986, J.D.
  • Columbia College, 1983, B.A.