Elisabeth Theodore focuses on appellate and complex civil litigation in state and federal courts. She has argued in the U.S. Supreme Court and numerous federal and state courts of appeals, and she has successfully litigated cases on a host of issues including administrative law, antitrust liability, voting rights, environmental law, preemption, and many novel matters of state and federal constitutional interpretation. She has obtained appellate reversals of multiple multi-million-dollar adverse trial verdicts and successfully challenged federal regulations. Elisabeth has also played a leading role in many of the most significant voting rights cases of the last several years, including successfully challenging the addition of a citizenship question to the Decennial Census and successfully challenging North Carolina and Pennsylvania's congressional districting as unconstitutional partisan gerrymanders under state law. Elisabeth has been named a "Rising Star" by Law360 and the National Law Journal.
Elisabeth was a law clerk to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg of the United States Supreme Court and Judge Merrick B. Garland of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Before joining the firm, she served as special counsel to the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, where she focused on national security and cyber matters. She is a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School, where she served as the articles, book reviews, and commentaries chair of the Harvard Law Review.
- Counsel for Ford Motor Company in regulatory litigation before the D.C. Circuit.
- Won vacatur of major federal regulation on behalf of national manufacturing association in the D.C. Circuit.
- Counsel for Samsung Electronics in obtaining dismissal of numerous class action lawsuits filed across the country.
- Counsel for North Carolina voters in convincing the Supreme Court to reject the “independent state legislature” theory in Moore v. Harper, 143 S.Ct. 2065 (2023).
- Counsel for GN Netcom in successfully briefing and arguing appeal of jury verdict in antitrust lawsuit, resulting in a reversal and a new trial on multi-hundred-million-dollar antitrust claims.
- Counsel for Iowans with disabilities in successfully winning injunction under the Americans with Disabilities Act and Rehab Act.
- Counsel for North Carolina voters in successfully challenging North Carolina legislative and congressional maps as unconstitutional partisan gerrymanders.
- Lead briefwriter representing three hospital systems before the Supreme Court in Advocate Health Care Network v. Stapleton, 137 S. Ct. 1652 (2017); obtained unanimous victory and reversal of decisions of three courts of appeals.
- Successfully represented BNSF before the Supreme Court in a case concerning the calculation of employment taxes for railroad workers.
- Represented GlaxoSmithKline in successfully persuading the Seventh Circuit to reverse a jury verdict and find that failure-to-warn claims were preempted by federal law.
- Represented Pennsylvania voters in landmark partisan gerrymandering lawsuit in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. Secured a new congressional map for Pennsylvania in 2018. Led briefing successfully convincing the U.S. Supreme Court to deny review. Successfully argued before the Third Circuit in defense of a fee award in connection with the case (League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, 921 F.3d 378 (3d Cir. 2019)).
- Lead briefwriter in successful representation of Nucor, the largest U.S. steel manufacturer, in antitrust litigation in the Fifth Circuit; secured reversal of a $150-million-plus trial verdict.
- Successfully argued motion to dismiss on behalf of major semiconductor manufacturer in civil RICO litigation in Florida district court.
- Federal prisoner serving a life sentence for drug-related crimes. Argued case and secured unanimous victory in appeal before the D.C. Circuit; on remand, successfully negotiated a reduction in sentence and client's release from prison.
- Detroit's two pension funds in Sixth Circuit litigation during Detroit's Chapter 9 bankruptcy petition.
- Multinational software company in class action litigation involving alleged breach of customer data in federal district court in California.
- Major real estate developer in contract dispute with another real estate developer in state court.
Appellate: Courts of Appeals / Appellate: Supreme Courts (States and Federal) (2019, 2021–2022)
- J.D., Harvard Law School, 2009, magna cum laude
- A.B., Harvard College, 2005, cum laude
- District of Columbia
Government & Military Service
Special Counsel to the Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation
- United States Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit, The Honorable Merrick B. Garland
- Supreme Court of the United States, The Honorable Ruth Bader Ginsburg