Daniel Wilf-Townsend (né Townsend) is the firm’s 2018-2019 Catalyst Fellow. He joined the firm in 2017 as a Fellow in Appellate and Constitutional Litigation. Danny’s practice focuses on representing plaintiffs and public-interest clients in appellate and complex litigation, with particular emphases on class actions and constitutional litigation.
Before joining the firm, Danny clerked for Judge Marsha Berzon of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and Judge Jeffrey Meyer of the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut. Before that, Danny’s legal experience included working at the firm as a summer associate, working at the U.S. Department of Justice, the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia, and in the chambers of Justice Carlos Moreno of the Supreme Court of California.
Danny is a graduate of Yale Law School, where he was a Coker Fellow, a member of the Veterans Legal Services Clinic, and a Prize Finalist and Board Member of the Morris Tyler Moot Court of Appeals. Danny graduated from Yale College, magna cum laude, with a degree in ethics, politics, and economics.
Since joining the firm, Danny has been a principal author of briefs filed at every level of the federal judiciary, and has counseled government entities, public officials, and advocacy groups across the country on a wide range of questions concerning public policy and legal strategy. Recent representative matters include:
– Playing a leading role in litigation against Donald Trump under the Foreign and Domestic Emoluments Clauses in the Southern District of New York and the District of Maryland;
– Advising the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey on its minimum-wage policy for tens of thousands of workers at JFK, LaGuardia, and Newark International airports;
– Litigating on behalf of nonprofit groups in Southern California against oil industry efforts to thwart the enforcement of environmental laws;
– Representing Leandra English in litigation challenging President Trump’s appointment of Mick Mulvaney as acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau;
– Representing the American Association of Justice as amicus curiae in Henry Schein v. Archer and White Sales, a U.S. Supreme Court case about the breadth of arbitration clauses.
In addition to these matters, Danny has litigated cases covering a wide range of issues, including fair debt collection; the First Amendment; employee pensions; predatory gambling; government officials’ immunity; personal jurisdiction; and more.
Danny’s writing has been published by the Stanford Law Review, Slate, and the American Prospect. Prior to law school, Danny worked at The American Prospect and researched political liberalism in China as a Fulbright Scholar at Nanjing University.