David B. Rivkin Jr.

Partner

Washington, D.C.
T 202.861.1731  |  F 202.861.1783

David Rivkin is a member of the firm’s litigation, international, and environmental teams and is co-leader of the firm’s national Appellate Practice. He has extensive experience in constitutional, administrative, and international law litigation and has been involved in numerous high-profile cases. With prior experience in the government sector, David draws on a wealth of knowledge when providing compliance advice to companies and handling enforcement proceedings before government agencies on issues arising out of multilateral and unilateral sanctions, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), anti-boycott issues, bankruptcy and financial fraud matters, and environmental and energy issues.

David has developed and implemented legislative, regulatory, and litigation initiatives for two Administrations. Over the years, he has published hundreds of articles, op eds, book reviews, and book chapters on a variety of international, legal, constitutional, defense, arms control, foreign policy, environmental, and energy issues for various newspapers and magazines, including The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, New York Times, USA Today, and Los Angeles Times, and has been a frequent commentator and guest on TV and radio shows including ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, Fox News, NPR, and PBS.

Select Experience

  • David is the lead counsel in the Section 1983 Civil Rights Action case brought against several Wisconsin state government officials, alleged to have initiated a sprawling John Doe investigation directed solely at conservative and right-of-center policy advocacy groups in the state.
  • As part of BakerHostetler’s role as court-appointed counsel to the Securities Investor Protection Act (SIPA) Trustee for the liquidation of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, David is responsible for the appellate litigation in more than half a dozen Second Circuit and Supreme Court cases.
  • David is a lead lawyer on a team that represents a former London-based JPM managing director whose cooperation was sought in the investigation related to a multibillion-dollar trading loss for the bank. Through aggressive defense of the former managing director and utilizing skills honed during involvement in investigating complex financial frauds, David and the team secured a rare non-prosecution agreement with the Justice Department and agreements with other regulatory authorities, which enabled the client to cooperate with federal prosecutors in the continuing investigations.
  • Through arguments before the district courts, Fourth Circuit and Seventh Circuit Courts of Appeals, David successfully defended several Bivens actions brought against former Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld.
  • With considerable experience in litigation involving national security-related matters, David represented Senators McCain, Graham, and Ayotte in the Second Circuit case Hedges, which entailed a challenge to the constitutionality of the military detention-related provisions contained in the National Defense Authorization Act.
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Experience

  • David is the lead counsel in the Section 1983 Civil Rights Action case brought against several Wisconsin state government officials, alleged to have initiated a sprawling John Doe investigation directed solely at conservative and right-of-center policy advocacy groups in the state.
  • As part of BakerHostetler’s role as court-appointed counsel to the Securities Investor Protection Act (SIPA) Trustee for the liquidation of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, David is responsible for the appellate litigation in more than half a dozen Second Circuit and Supreme Court cases.
  • David is a lead lawyer on a team that represents a former London-based JPM managing director whose cooperation was sought in the investigation related to a multibillion-dollar trading loss for the bank. Through aggressive defense of the former managing director and utilizing skills honed during involvement in investigating complex financial frauds, David and the team secured a rare non-prosecution agreement with the Justice Department and agreements with other regulatory authorities, which enabled the client to cooperate with federal prosecutors in the continuing investigations.
  • Through arguments before the district courts, Fourth Circuit and Seventh Circuit Courts of Appeals, David successfully defended several Bivens actions brought against former Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld.
  • With considerable experience in litigation involving national security-related matters, David represented Senators McCain, Graham, and Ayotte in the Second Circuit case Hedges, which entailed a challenge to the constitutionality of the military detention-related provisions contained in the National Defense Authorization Act.
  • When 26 states challenged the constitutionality of Medicare revisions under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and argued that an “individual mandate” was beyond the powers granted to Congress under the Commerce Clause and the Necessary and Proper Clause, David represented the states and was lead outside counsel in the District Court and Court of Appeals. The United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida ruled in favor of the states at the case outset, with David handling both the briefing and oral arguments. The government appealed the case to the Eleventh Circuit, where David continued his involvement and the original decision was affirmed.
  • David represented the Republic of Croatia before the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and the International Court of Justice for a number of years on a wide range of issues involving international humanitarian law and the laws of war. He was Croatia’s lead lawyer in both venues and handled numerous rounds of briefings and oral arguments.
  • David has represented corporations in alien tort statue and civil RICO litigation, as well as in challenges to federal agency actions and constitutional challenges to state statutes. He also represented the State of Texas in the U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit, during a challenge to several of the EPA’s rules that sought to regulate greenhouse gasses under the Clean Air Act.
  • David handled the development and implementation of President George H.W. Bush’s deregulatory initiatives, which entailed review of all existing federal regulatory strictures and the application of a more rigorous cost-effective standard to new regulations. His substantive areas of responsibility included international sanctions, energy, environment, and tax issues.
  • David played a leading role in the development of FERC Order 636, which introduced major changes to the regulation of the interstate natural gas pipelines, and simultaneously served as the Special Assistant for Domestic Policy to then Vice President Dan Quayle.

Recognitions

  • Burton Award for Legal Achievement (2011)
  • U.S. Naval Proceedings Annual Alfred Thayer Mahan Award for best maritime affairs article (1984)

Memberships

  • Phi Alpha Theta (1981)

Services

Prior Positions

  • United Nations Subcommission, Promotion and Protection of Human Rights: expert member, part-time (2004 to 2007)
  • Hunton & Williams: Partner (1993 to December 1999)
  • Federal Government (1987 to 1993)
    • White House: Associate Executive Director and General Counsel of the President’s Council on Competitiveness
    • U.S. Department of Energy: Associate General Counsel
    • Responsible for international, constitutional, environmental, and energy matters, including global climate change problems, natural gas, hydro and electricity issues, development and implementation of the Natural Energy Strategy, implementation of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990, wetlands policy and related issues, development of RCRA and Clean Water Act legislative proposals, and deregulation of energy markets.
    • Played a significant role in development of Reagan and H.W. Bush Administration regulatory and legislative proposals affecting natural gas and electric utility industries.
    • White House Counsel’s Office, Associate White House Counsel
    • Office of the Vice President: Legal Advisor to the Counsel to the Vice President
    • Department of Justice, Office of Policy Development: Deputy Director
      Responsible for variety of constitutional, domestic and international issues, including judicial selection, legal policy, immigration, and asylum matters and intelligence oversight.
  • Baker & McKenzie: Associate (1985 to 1987)
  • Defense and foreign policy analyst: focusing on Soviet affairs, arms control, naval strategy, and NATO-related issues. Defense consultant to numerous government agencies and Washington think tanks (1977 to 1985).

Admissions

  • District of Columbia, 1985

Education

  • J.D., Columbia University School of Law, 1985
  • M.A., Georgetown University, 1984, Soviet Affairs, with high honors
  • B.S.F.S., Georgetown University, 1980