Theodore J. Boutrous

Theodore J. Boutrous

Partner, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP

Theodore J. Boutrous, Jr., a partner in the Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. offices of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, is Co-Chair of the firm’s Appellate and Constitutional Law Group, its Crisis Management Group, and the Transnational Litigation and Foreign Judgments Group.  He is a member of the firm’s Executive and Management Committees.

Mr. Boutrous has represented clients in the federal and state appellate courts throughout the nation in a wide spectrum of cases, including punitive damages, class action, securities, employment, environmental, insurance, product liability, antitrust, business torts, privacy, arbitration, criminal and constitutional litigation. He is responsible for the nationwide appellate strategy for several major companies, and has successfully persuaded courts to overturn some of the largest jury verdicts and class actions in history.

Mr. Boutrous also represents media organizations, reporters, and others in a wide array of First Amendment, access, subpoena, defamation, freedom of information, prior restraint, newsgathering and copyright matters.

As both a crisis management strategist and a seasoned appellate and media lawyer, Mr. Boutrous has wide-ranging experience handling high-profile litigation, media relations and media legal issues. He routinely advises clients in planning how to respond, and in responding, to crises and other especially significant legal problems that attract the media spotlight and provides strategic counseling to address legal, legislative, regulatory and public relations aspects of such matters.

The Los Angeles and San Francisco Daily Journals have named Mr. Boutrous one of the 100 best lawyers in California for seven years in a row.  Lawdragon named him to the 2011 guide to the 500 Leading Lawyers in America, calling him “One of the best media and appellate attorneys in the nation.”  The American Lawyercalled Mr. Boutrous “a media law star,” the Los Angeles Business Journal described him as “one of the nation’s most prominent appellate attorneys” and the San Francisco Recorder named him one of the 2009 Attorneys of the Year.  Mr. Boutrous received the ACLU of Southern California’s First Amendment Award in 2002.  He is Co-Chair of the Board of Directors of the International Women’s Media Foundation and a member of the Board of Directors of the California Supreme Court Historical Society.  He also is a member of the Business Advisory Council of ProPublica, an independent, non-profit newsroom that produces investigative journalism in the public interest. 

Numerous profiles of Mr. Boutrous and his practice have appeared in the media.  Prominent mentions include:  Selected as one of the “Attorneys of the Year 2011,” The Recorder (February 20, 2012); “Litigator of the Week,”Am Law Litigation Daily (June 2011); “Lawyer of the Week,” The Times of London (June 2011); “Appellate Lawyer of the Week” National Law Journal (March 2011); “Litigation Department of the Year,” The American Lawyer (January 2012); “Litigation Department of the Year,” The American Lawyer (January 2010); “Anatomy of a Complaint,” California Lawyer (January 2010); “Litigator of the Week,” Am Law Litigation Daily(February 20, 2009); “The Kill Step,” The American Lawyer/Corporate Counsel (October 2009); “He’s a Hired Gun of the Highest Caliber,” The Los Angeles Times (June 24, 2007); “Special Appeal,” Los Angeles Business Journal (July 26, 2004); “Jackson Case Stirs First Amendment Guru,” Daily Journal Extra (February 23, 2004); and “45 under 45,” The American Lawyer(January 2003).

Mr. Boutrous is a frequent commentator on legal issues. His articles on appellate issues include “Due Process for Exxon,” Wall Street Journal (October 23, 2007); “Successfully Challenging Punitive Damage Awards: Winning Strategies After State Farm v. Campbell” (2003 Monograph, National Legal Center for the Public Interest); “What’s Next for Punitive Damage Awards,”Wall Street Journal (May 29, 1996); and “Constitutional Challenges to Punitive Damages after BMW v. Gore” (1998 Monograph, National Legal Center for the Public Interest).

His extensive writings on First Amendment and media law issues include “The Four Myths Surrounding the Common Law Reporter’s Privilege,” Media Law Resources Center (January 2007); “Memory Abuse,” Wall Street Journal (January 13, 2007); “First Amendment on Trial,” Wall Street Journal (August 19, 2006); “Rule 6(e) and the Public’s Right to Know,” Wall Street Journal (August 17, 1998); “Judicial Proceedings and Records ‘Ancillary to the Grand Jury’ in High-Profile Cases,” Media Law Resource Center (January 2005); “Celebrity Justice: A New Double Standard,” ABA Communications Lawyer (Fall 2004), at 3; “Retooling the Federal Common-Law Reporter’s Privilege,”Communications Lawyer, Vol. 17, No. 1 (Spring 1999); and “Why an Expanded Common-Law Privilege Should Also Protect the Media,” Communications Lawyer, Volume 15, Number 1 (Spring 1997).

Mr. Boutrous received his law degree, summa cum laude,from the University of San Diego School of Law in 1987, where he was Valedictorian and Editor-in-Chief of theSan Diego Law Review.

  • University of San Diego, 1987
    Juris Doctor
  • Arizona State University, 1984
    Bachelor of Science


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