Joseph R. Guerra

JOE GUERRA, a co-chair of Sidley’s Appellate practice and a former Principal Deputy Associate Attorney General for the U.S. Department of Justice, focuses his practice on both traditional appellate representation and law-intensive, trial-level litigation. As an appellate advocate, Joe has argued a wide range of federal constitutional, statutory and administrative law matters in federal and state courts throughout the country, including the United States Supreme Court and most of the federal courts of appeals. He also helps develop legal strategies and argue dispositive motions at the trial level in high-stakes cases that raise novel and often complex questions of federal or state law.

Joe represents clients across a broad range of industries—including those in the energy, telecommunications, financial and insurance sectors—on an expansive array of legal issues. His recent experience includes:

Successfully argued before the Supreme Court that the Driver’s Privacy Protection Act does not permit class action lawyers to obtain and use personal information in division of motor vehicle records for mass solicitation of clients. Maracich v. Spears (U.S. No. 12-25 June 17, 2013). Writing for a five-justice majority, Justice Kennedy adopted Sidley’s arguments that lawyer solicitations are governed by a provision in the DPPA that permits use of DMV information for bulk solicitation only with express consent, which petitioners had not given.
Argued and won a challenge in the D.C. Circuit to a decision by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission denying Mobil Pipeline Company’s application for authority to charge market-based rates on one of its oil pipelines. Mobil Pipeline Co. v. Federal Energy Regulatory Comm'n, 676 F.3d 1098 (D.C. Cir. 2012).
Argued and won a case in which the Supreme Court held that the Age Discrimination in Employment Act prohibits retaliation against covered federal workers who complain about age discrimination. Gomez-Perez v. Potter, 553 U.S. 474 (2008).
Successfully defended the interpretation of claims in a patent owned by MetLife in an appeal before the Federal Circuit.
Argued and won appeals for AT&T in the Third Circuit in cases that raised issues under ERISA and questions of preemption and other issues under the Communications Act and federal antitrust laws.
Argued on behalf of intervenor The National Association of Manufacturers and won dismissal of a suit seeking to compel federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions under a novel “public trust doctrine” theory. Alec L. v. Lisa P. Jackson, 863 F. Supp.2d 11 (D.D.C. 2012).

In addition to his court appearances, Joe has filed numerous briefs in the United States Supreme Court, the D.C. Circuit, the Federal Circuit and other federal and state appellate courts in cases involving, among other matters, takings claims, commercial and political speech restrictions, due process claims, the constitutionality of term limits, federal preemption, patent law principles, the United States’ obligations under international treaties, and the scope of liability under the Alien Tort Statute.

Joe has been commended as a "Litigation Star" in the District of Columbia by Benchmark Litigation (2012-2014), recognized in The Legal 500 US (2012-2014) and included in the 2013-2015 editions of The Best Lawyers in America. In addition, Joe is ranked in Chambers USA 2014 in Appellate Law.

Good to know

Areas of Practice 1) Appellate, 2) Administrative Law Appeals, 3) Climate Change, 4) Commercial Litigation Appeals, 5) Energy and Transportation Law Appeals, 6) Federal Tax Controversy, 7) Healthcare and Federal Food and 8) Drug and Cosmetic Act Appeals
Law School Georgetown University Law Center, J.D., 1985
Education University of Virginia, B.A., 1980
Bar Member / Association District of Columbia Bar Association
Most recent firm Sidley Austin LLP
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