Partner, Hogan Lovells and former Acting Solicitor General of the United States
Neal Katyal, the former acting solicitor general of the United States, focuses on appellate and complex litigation. He has extensive experience in matters of patent, securities, criminal, employment, and constitutional law. Neal has orally argued 32 cases before the Supreme Court of the United States, with 30 of them in the last 8 years. Even though the 2016-2017 Supreme Court Term is only partway done, he is already scheduled to be arguing at least 6 Supreme Court cases in 5 separate oral arguments (indeed, he and his Hogan Lovells team are lead/arguing counsel in an astounding 9 argued Supreme Court cases this Term). At the age of 46, he has already argued more cases in U.S. history than has any racial minority attorney except for Thurgood Marshall.
As Acting Solicitor General, Neal represented the federal government in all appellate matters before the Supreme Court and the Courts of Appeals nationwide. He argued major Supreme Court cases, such as his successful defense of the constitutionality of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, his victorious defense of former Attorney General John Ashcroft for alleged abuses in the war on terror, and his unanimous victory against eight states that sued the nation’s leading power plants for contributing to global warming. He served as Counsel of Record hundreds of times in the Supreme Court. He was the only head of the Solicitor General’s office to argue a case in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, on the question of whether aspects of the human genome were patentable.
Neal is well-known for winning the landmark decision Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, which challenged the policy of military trials at Guantanamo Bay. The Supreme Court sided with him by a 5-3 vote, finding that President Bush’s tribunals violated the constitutional separation of powers, domestic military law, and international law.
In 2011 Neal received the highest award given to a civilian by the U.S. Department of Justice, the Edmund Randolph Award. The Chief Justice of the United States has twice appointed him to the Advisory Committee on Federal Appellate Rules.
Neal has also served as a law professor for nearly two decades at Georgetown University Law Center, where he was one of the youngest professors to have received tenure and a chaired professorship in the university’s history.