Deepak Gupta is the founding principal of Gupta Wessler, a boutique law firm focused on Supreme Court, appellate, and complex litigation. He is a veteran advocate before the U.S. Supreme Court, has handled cases before all thirteen federal circuits, several state supreme courts, and trial courts nationwide, and has testified multiple times before the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives. Deepak is also a lecturer at Harvard Law School, where he currently teaches a seminar on arbitration and is an instructor in Harvard’s Supreme Court Litigation Clinic.
Much of Deepak’s two-decade legal career has focused on ensuring access to justice for consumers, workers, military servicemembers and veterans, and communities injured by corporate or governmental wrongdoing. He has worked with a wide variety of clients and co-counsel, including leading trial firms, national nonprofit organizations, labor unions, individuals, small businesses, state and local governments, and public officials at all levels. His generalist appellate practice has spanned issues including administrative law, antitrust, appellate jurisdiction, arbitration, bankruptcy, civil procedure, civil rights, class actions, constitutional law, consumer law, environmental law, federal jurisdiction, intellectual property, preemption, the separation of powers, and wage-and-hour law, among other areas.
Deepak is “known as a skilled appellate lawyer” (New York Times) and “an all-star Supreme Court litigator” (Washington Post). He’s 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 presents oral argument before the Court. In March 2021, Deepak prevailed in Ford Motor Co. v. Montana Eighth Judicial District, in which the Justices 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. In 2019, in Smith v. Berryhill, Deepak argued at the invitation of the Court in support of a judgment left undefended by the Solicitor General. He is the first Asian-American to be appointed to argue by the Supreme Court. 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 the use of forced arbitration to prevent consumers and workers from banding together to seek justice.
In addition to his appellate advocacy, Deepak also brings class actions and other legal challenges from the ground up. In one such case, National Veterans Legal Services Program v. United States, Deepak 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.”
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 a member of the Administrative Conference of the United States and 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; and the Institute for Consumer Antitrust Studies. 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). He is a judge of the American Constitution Society’s Annual Richard D. Cudahy Writing Competition on Regulatory and Administrative Law.
Among other honors, Deepak is the recipient of 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.