Deepak Gupta is the founding principal of Gupta Wessler. He is a veteran advocate before the U.S. Supreme Court and has handled cases before all thirteen federal circuits, state supreme courts nationwide, and numerous trial courts, and has testified before the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives, and the Presidential Commission on the Supreme Court. Deepak is also a lecturer at Harvard Law School, where he regularly teaches a seminar on the Supreme Court’s arbitration jurisprudence and is an instructor in the Harvard Supreme Court Litigation Clinic.
Much of Deepak’s two-decade legal career has focused on ensuring access to justice for consumers, workers, servicemembers, veterans, and communities injured by corporate or governmental wrongdoing. He has worked with a wide variety of co-counsel and clients, including leading trial firms, national nonprofits, labor unions, small businesses, state and local governments, public officials ranging from federal judges to members of Congress, and individuals of all stripes, including professional athletes and artists. His generalist appellate practice routinely spans a broad range of fields, including administrative law, constitutional law, and consumers’ and workers’ rights.
Deepak is “known as a skilled appellate lawyer” (New York Times) and “an all-star Supreme Court litigator” (Washington Post) and has been described as “one of the emerging giants of the appellate and the Supreme Court bar,” a “heavy hitter,” a “principled” and “incredibly talented lawyer” (Law 360), and a “legal rock star.” (New York Law Journal). Chambers USA cites his “impressive” and “highly rated appellate practice,” describing him as “an incredible oral advocate” who “writes terrific briefs” and maintains a “vibrant appellate practice focused on public interest cases and plaintiff-side representations.” Washingtonian consistently ranks Deepak as one of the “Best Lawyers” for Supreme Court cases; he is the only non-corporate lawyer on that list. Fastcase has honored Deepak as “one of the country’s top litigators,” noting that “what sets him apart” is his legal creativity. And Empirical SCOTUS cited one of Deepak’s briefs as the single most readable in a recent Supreme Court term.
Deepak has filed over one hundred briefs in the U.S. Supreme Court and regularly argues before the Court. In 2021, he prevailed in Ford Motor Co. v. Montana Eighth Judicial District, in which the Court unanimously ruled that people injured by mass-market products can establish personal jurisdiction to sue where their injury occurred, bucking a trend of decisions stretching back four decades. The Pound Civil Justice Institute recognized Deepak’s work on the Ford case with its 2022 Appellate Advocacy Award, which “recognizes excellence in appellate advocacy in America.” In 2019, in Smith v. Berryhill, Deepak argued at the Court’s invitation in support of a judgment left undefended by the Solicitor General. He is the first Asian-American to be appointed to argue by the Justices. In 2017, Deepak’s firm was counsel for parties in three argued merits cases before the Court; he was lead counsel in two, prevailing in both. In 2010, Deepak argued AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion, a watershed case on corporations’ use of forced arbitration to prevent consumers and workers from banding together to seek justice.
In addition to his appellate advocacy, Deepak also designs and prosecutes class actions and other legal challenges from the ground up. In National Veterans Legal Services Program v. United States, he recently persuaded the Federal Circuit that the federal judiciary has been charging people hundreds of millions of dollars in unlawful fees for online access to court records. In another one-of-a-kind class action, Deepak represented all of the nation’s bankruptcy judges, recovering $56 million in back pay for Congress’s violation of the Judicial Compensation Clause. The American Lawyer observed: “it’s hard to imagine a higher compliment than being hired to represent federal judges.”
Deepak also frequently leads high-stakes administrative and constitutional cases involving the federal government. In recent years, he persuaded the D.C. Circuit to issue a rare emergency injunction halting the U.S. Agency for Global Media’s attempted takeover of an internet-freedom nonprofit; represented environmental groups in a successful procedural challenge to a midnight rule that would have crippled the EPA’s ability to rely on science in setting public-health standards; obtained a ruling striking down an IRS decision to halt collection of nonprofit donor information; and established that the Acting Director of the Bureau of Land Management had been serving unlawfully for 424 days.
Before founding his law firm in 2012, Deepak was Senior Counsel for Litigation and Senior Counsel for Enforcement Strategy at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. As the first appellate litigator hired at the new agency, he launched the Bureau’s amicus program, defended its regulations, and worked with the Solicitor General’s office on Supreme Court cases. For seven years previously, Deepak was an attorney at Public Citizen Litigation Group, where he founded and directed the Consumer Justice Project and was the Alan Morrison Supreme Court Assistance Project Fellow. Among other things, his work at Public Citizen saved people’s homes from foreclosure and stopped debt collectors from hounding veterans. Before that, Deepak served for two years as a law clerk to Judge Lawrence K. Karlton of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California. He studied law at Georgetown, Sanskrit at Oxford, and philosophy at Fordham.
Deepak is an appointed public member of the Administrative Conference of the United States and an elected member of the American Law Institute and sits on the boards or advisory boards of the National Consumer Law Center; the Open Markets Institute; the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law; the Civil Justice Research Initiative of the University of California, Berkeley; the Biden Institute at the University of Delaware; and the Institute for Consumer Antitrust Studies. He is a judge of the American Constitution Society’s Annual Richard D. Cudahy Writing Competition on Regulatory and Administrative Law. His publications include Arbitration as Wealth Transfer, 5 Yale L. & Pol’y Rev. 499 (2017) (with Lina Khan), Leveling the Playing Field on Appeal: The Case for a Plaintiff-Side Appellate Bar, 54 Duq. L. Rev. 383 (2016), and The Consumer Protection Bureau and the Constitution, 65 Admin L. Rev. 945 (2013), as well as shorter pieces for The New York Times, Trial magazine, and SCOTUSblog.
Among other honors, Deepak is the recipient of the Appellate Advocacy Award from the Pound Civil Justice Institute, the Steven J. Sharpe Award for Public Service from the American Association for Justice, and the President’s Award from the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges.