Elisabeth Theodore focuses on appellate and complex civil litigation in state and federal courts. She has argued in the DC Circuit and briefed cases in the Supreme Court and federal appellate courts on a host of issues ranging from antitrust liability to preemption to bankruptcy to novel matters of state and federal constitutional interpretation. In 2017, she represented three hospitals in persuading the Supreme Court to unanimously reverse three court of appeals decisions on a complex question of statutory interpretation. In 2015 she represented a steel company in securing a complete appellate reversal of a $150-million-plus trial verdict. She has also has extensive experience at the trial-court level, including in antitrust and in class actions involving data breaches and consumer products.

Ms. Theodore 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, Ms. Theodore 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.


  • Advocate Health Care Network v. Stapleton, 137 S. Ct. 1652 (2017).  Lead briefwriter representing three hospital systems before the Supreme Court in litigation involving pension plans; obtained unanimous victory and reversal of decisions of three courts of appeals.
  • Largest steel producer in the United States in antitrust litigation in the Fifth Circuit; lead briefwriter in securing a reversal of a $150-million-plus trial verdict.
  • Truck Trailer Manufacturers Association in DC Circuit litigation successfully obtaining a stay of novel EPA regulation.
  • Major semiconductor manufacturer in civil RICO litigation in Florida district court; successfully argued motion to dismiss.
  • Fortune 20 technology company in multiple consumer class actions in federal district courts in Washington, California, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.
  • Federal prisoner serving a life sentence for drug-related crimes. Argued case and secured unanimous victory in appeal before the DC 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.
  • Fortune 50 company in putative toxic tort class action litigation in federal district court in California.
  • Major real estate developer in contract dispute with another real estate developer in state court.
  • Briefing on merits matters, certiorari, and on behalf of amici in the Supreme Court, including in Advocate Health Care Network v. Stapleton, Nos. 16-74, 16-86, and 16-258 (2017); Bravo-Fernandez v. United States, No. 15-537 (2016); Pro-Football, Inc. v. Blackhorse, (No. 15-1311) (2016); Fitch Ratings v. First Community Bank, N.A., No. 15-1151 (2017) (amicus); American Cyanamid v. Gibson, No. 14-849 (2015); Lane v. Franks, 573 U.S. --- (2014) (amicus).


Data Security Roundup—May 2015 (pdf)
A publication of the Privacy and Data Security Team
Data Security Roundup—April 2015 (pdf)
A publication of the Privacy and Data Security Team


  • JD, Harvard Law School, 2009, magna cum laude
  • AB, Harvard College, 2005, cum laude
  • District of Columbia
  • Maryland
Government and 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

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