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Mayor Adrian Fenty 
Press release, Walter E. Dellinger Named Lead Counsel on Gun Case
January 4, 2008




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January 4, 2008

Walter E. Dellinger Named Lead Counsel on Gun Case as District Prepares to File Brief with High Court

Today, Mayor Adrian M. Fenty announced that Walter E. Dellinger will lead the District of Columbia’s gun-control case pending before the U.S. Supreme Court. Dellinger, a former U.S. Solicitor General, has argued 17 cases before the high court and was already serving as part of the city’s legal team on this case.

Dellinger will lead a talented team of legal experts including Robert Long, chair of the appellate and Supreme Court litigation group at Covington and Burling, Thomas Goldstein, who co-heads Akin Gump's Supreme Court practice, and D.C. Solicitor General Todd Kim.

Walter Dellinger is chair of the appellate practice at O’Melveny & Myers LLP and is the former Douglas B. Maggs Professor of Law at Duke University. He served as acting Solicitor General for the 1996-97 term of the Supreme Court. He argued nine cases before the Court that term, the most by any Solicitor General in more than 20 years. His arguments included cases dealing with physician-assisted suicide, the line item veto, the cable television act, the Brady Act, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and the constitutionality of remedial services for parochial school children. 

Dellinger most recent arguments before the Supreme Court include Jackson v. Birmingham School District, in which the Court expanded protections against gender discrimination under Title IX and Brown v. Legal Foundation of Washington, in which he successfully defended the use of IOLTA funding for legal services for the poor. Other recent Supreme Court arguments include US Airways v. Barnett, Utah v. Evans, Hunt v. Cromartie, and Hunt v. Easley. His recent Court of Appeals arguments include Martha Stewart v. United States, Whiteside v. United States, Exxon v. Alabama, and LCI v. Phillips.

He has recently served as Special Counsel to the Board of Directors of the New York Stock Exchange in connection with NYSE’s transformation into a publicly held company and its acquisition of an electronic trading company.

After serving in early 1993 in the White House as an adviser to President Clinton on constitutional issues, Dellinger was nominated by the President to be assistant attorney general and head of the Office of Legal Counsel (“OLC”). He was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in October 1993 and served for three years. As head of the OLC, Dellinger provided extensive legal advice on questions arising out of the shutdown of the federal government, on national debt ceiling issues, on loan guarantees for Mexico; on the President’s authority to deploy U.S. forces in Haiti and Bosnia; and on fundamental separation of powers questions. 

A scholar for more than 35 years, Dellinger has taught constitutional history and constitutional law and has published articles on constitutional issues for scholarly journals including the Harvard Law Review, the Yale Law Journal, and the Duke Law Journal, and has written for the New York Times, the Washington Post, Newsweek, the New Republic, and the London Times. He has been a visiting professor at the Catholic University of Belgium and has given lectures to university faculties in Florence, Siena, Nuremberg, Copenhagen, Leiden, Utrehcht, Tilburg, Mexico, and Rio de Janeiro, and has delivered major lectures at Stanford, Yale, Harvard, Michigan, Berkeley, Penn, Duke, Chicago, and other U.S. law schools. He has testified more than 25 times before committees of the Congress.


Yale University, J.D., 1966: Editor, Yale Law Journal
University of North Carolina, B.A., 1963: with honors; John J. Parker Medal for Leadership; Frank Porter Graham Award as Outstanding Senior

Professional Activities

Law Clerk: The Honorable Hugo L. Black, U.S. Supreme Court, 1968-69
Admitted to Bar: Washington, D.C.
Admitted to Practice: U.S. Supreme Court; U.S. District Court, Districts of North Carolina and District of Columbia; U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth and Federal Circuits
Fellow: National Humanities Center (1988-89)
Professor: Duke University, School of Law, 1969-present Douglas B. Maggs Professor Emeritus

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