Deepak Gupta

deepak@guptawessler.com
202.888.1741 | 2001 K Street, NW, Suite 850 North, Washington, DC 20006
Legal Assistant: Abbe Murphy, abbe@guptawessler.com
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 teaches the Harvard Supreme Court Litigation Clinic; a seminar on forced arbitration and the American civil justice system; and a new reading group on entrepreneurship in public interest law. 
Much of Deepak’s two-decade legal career has focused on ensuring access to justice for consumers, workers, 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, state and local governments, public officials ranging from federal judges to members of Congress, and individuals from all walks of life.
Deepak is “known as a skilled appellate lawyer” (New York Times) and “an all-star progressive 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 “progressive 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 U.S. Supreme Court term. 
Among other honors, Deepak is the recipient of the 2022 Appellate Advocacy Award from the National Civil Justice Institute, which “recognizes excellence in appellate advocacy in America,” 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.
Deepak has filed over one hundred briefs in the U.S. Supreme Court and regularly argues before the Court. Highlights include:
  • In 2021, Deepak argued and prevailed in Ford Motor Co. v. Montana Eighth Judicial District, in which the Supreme Court ruled that people injured by mass-market products can establish personal jurisdiction to sue out-of-state corporations where their injury occurred, bucking a trend of jurisdiction-limiting decisions stretching back four decades.
  • 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 by the Supreme Court to argue a case. 
  • 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 Hernández v. Mesa, he represented the family of a Mexican teenager killed in a cross-border shooting by a border patrol agent, successfully obtaining reversal of the Fifth Circuit’s 15-0 en banc ruling that the officer was entitled to qualified immunity. And in Expressions Hair Design v. Schneiderman, he successfully argued a First Amendment challenge to a law designed to keep consumers in the dark about the cost of credit cards.
  • 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. 
As an appellate advocate, Deepak is frequently sought out by trial lawyers to defend their most consequential victories or resurrect worthy claims on appeal—often after years of hard-fought litigation—and he is currently defending several nine-figure and eight-figure verdicts in both state and federal courts.
In addition to his appellate advocacy, Deepak also designs and prosecutes class actions and other legal challenges from the ground up. Highlights include:
  • In National Veterans Legal Services Program v. United States, Deepak is lead counsel in a nationwide class action in which 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 has:
  • 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;
  • established that the Acting Director of the Bureau of Land Management had been serving unlawfully for 424 days; and
  • persuaded the Second Circuit, in Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics v. Trump, that competitors of President Trump’s hotels had standing to sue him for accepting payments in violation of the Constitution’s Emoluments Clauses.
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 under Elizabeth Warren’s leadership, he launched the new agency’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 and worked on voting rights litigation at the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice; prisoners’ rights litigation at the ACLU’s National Prison Project; and religion clause litigation at Americans United for Separation of Church and State. 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 Alliance for Justice; the Open Markets Institute; the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law; the People’s Parity Project; 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, SCOTUSblog, and Trial magazine.