FacultyFaculty/Author Profile

Thomas G. Hungar

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP
Washington, DC, USA

Thomas G. Hungar is a partner in the Washington, D.C., office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP and Co-Chair of the firm's Appellate and Constitutional Law Practice Group. His practice focuses on appellate litigation, and he assists clients with complex trial court litigation matters as well.  He has presented oral argument before the Supreme Court of the United States in 24 cases, including some of the most important patent, antitrust, securities, and environmental law decisions issued by the Court in recent years, and he has also appeared before numerous lower federal and state appellate courts. He has been recognized as a Super Lawyer by Washington, D.C. Super Lawyers 2010 and was listed in The Best Lawyers in America® 2011. Mr. Hungar was also nationally ranked as a top Appellate attorney by Chambers USA: America's Leading Business Lawyers for 2010.

Mr. Hungar served as Deputy Solicitor General of the United States from 2003 until 2008. In that position, he supervised business-related appellate litigation for the federal government, with particular emphasis on intellectual property, antitrust, securities, and environmental appellate cases, and he also oversaw appellate litigation in banking, bankruptcy, tax, government contracts, communications, labor, and international trade matters. He had responsibility for more than 50 of the business-related cases decided by the Supreme Court during that time period, and has briefed and argued many high-profile matters. According to ABC senior legal correspondent and former Supreme Court reporter Jan Crawford Greenburg, Mr. Hungar “dazzle[d] the justices with his arguments” before the Court. Representative cases in which he has presented oral argument before the Supreme Court include:

  • Stoneridge Investment Partners, LLC v. Scientific-Atlanta, Inc.  (rejecting “scheme liability” as basis for imposing liability on secondary actors in securities fraud actions under SEC Rule 10b-5 and Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934).
  • Leegin Creative Leather Prods., Inc. v. PSKS, Inc. (overruling Dr. Miles rule of per se invalidity for vertical minimum resale price maintenance agreements under Section 1 of the Sherman Act).
  • KSR Int’l Co. v. Teleflex Inc. (clarifying standard for determining when an invention claimed in a patent is “obvious,” and therefore ineligible for patent protection, under Section 103(a) of the Patent Act).
  • Environmental Defense v. Duke Energy Corp. (Clean Air Act New Source Review case clarifying test for determining whether a “modification” to a pollutant-emitting source has occurred so as to require a permit under the Prevention of Significant Deterioration program).
  • Illinois Tool Works, Inc. v. Independent Ink, Inc. (overturning longstanding presumption of market power that arose in tying cases under Section 1 of the Sherman Act when the defendant held a patent on the tying product).
  • Quanta Computer, Inc. v. LG Electronics, Inc. (patent infringement action involving application of patent-exhaustion doctrine to method claims and to sales of components of patented systems).
  • Dura Pharmaceuticals, Inc. v. Broudo (requiring securities fraud plaintiffs invoking the fraud-on-the-market theory to plead and prove loss causation by identifying a causal connection between the alleged fraud and the security’s subsequent decline in price).
  • National Cable & Telecom. Ass’n v. Brand X Internet Servs. (upholding FCC’s determination that cable modem broadband Internet access service is solely an unregulated “information service” under the federal Communications Act and does not include a regulate “telecommunications service” component).

Before serving as Deputy Solicitor General, Mr. Hungar was a lawyer with the Washington, D.C., office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher from 1994-2003, practicing appellate and complex civil litigation. He represented clients in a wide variety of appellate matters in both federal and state courts, including the areas of constitutional law, employment law, product liability, telecommunications law, intellectual property, administrative procedure, antitrust, insurance coverage and bad faith, and general commercial litigation.

Mr. Hungar has been elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers and is a Master in the Edward Coke Appellate American Inn of Court.  He serves as a member of the Amicus Committee of the Federal Circuit Bar Association and is a frequent lecturer in his areas of expertise, appearing before such organizations as the American Intellectual Property Law Association, the American Bar Association Section of Antitrust Law, the Federal Circuit Bar Association, and the New York Intellectual Property Law Association. While at the Department of Justice, he served as Appellate Counsel to the Intellectual Property Task Force Executive Staff, and he was awarded the John Marshall Award for Outstanding Legal Achievement, the Department's highest award presented to attorneys for contributions and excellence in legal performance, in recognition of his handling of patent-law matters before the Supreme Court.

Mr. Hungar served as an Assistant to the Solicitor General of the United States from 1992-1994.  In that position he presented oral argument before the Court in six cases and handled numerous other appellate matters for the government. He also served as a law clerk to Justice Anthony M. Kennedy of the Supreme Court and to Circuit Judge Alex Kozinski of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. He received his law degree from Yale Law School in 1987, where he was a Senior Editor of the Yale Law & Policy Review.  He received his bachelor of science degree magna cum laude in mathematics/computer science and economics from Willamette University in 1984.


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