Tuesday, October 29, 2013
D.C. Appellate Lawyer DuMont Named California Solicitor General
By a MetNews Staff Writer
Washington, D.C. appellate lawyer Edward DuMont will be California’s solicitor general, beginning in January, Attorney General Kamala Harris said yesterday.
DuMont, whose nomination by President Obama to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit stalled out two years ago, is currently vice chair of the Appellate and Supreme Court Litigation Practice Group at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP.
Harris said DuMont would head the “new” Office of the Solicitor General. Although such an office has existed for a decade, she explained, it “will expand significantly in scope and capacity.” DuMont, she said, would “oversee all civil and criminal appeals, and litigate the most sensitive, complex cases throughout the appellate process in state and federal courts.”
DuMont, a California native and Stanford Law School graduate who has been at Wilmerhale since 2002, was nominated to the Federal Circuit in 2010. Several publications said he would have been the first openly gay appellate judge in the country, but he asked the president to withdraw his nomination in late 2011 after his nomination languished before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Harris said in a statement that she was impressed by DuMont’s “legal acumen and extensive appellate litigation experience” and that she was “confident that his talent, drive and background will supplement the Department’s already robust appellate practice and help us establish the best Solicitor General’s office in the country.”
DuMont said in the same release that he was looking “forward to returning to California, joining a new team and working together to build an expanded Solicitor General’s office that we will all be proud of.”
UCLA law professor and conservative blogger Eugene Volokh, who said he has known DuMont for 20 years, told the MetNews he was “so delighted” by the appointment, “particularly as a Californian.” DuMont, he said, will “be representing us and he’ll be doing a superb job of it.”
While his nomination to the federal post drew opposition from conservatives, Volokh, who wrote in praise of the nomination at the time, called DuMont “a superb lawyer and a fairminded guy,” saying “I’m so pleased we [Californians] managed to lure him away…at a fraction of his traditional hourly billing rate.”
DuMont was admitted to the State Bar of California in 1986 and spent a number of years at the Justice Department, working on computer crime and privacy issues, before joining his present firm. He has argued 18 cases before the U.S. Supreme Court on a wide array of issues, including employment law, the First Amendment, criminal law and administrative procedure.
He has also authored dozens of briefs to the Supreme Court and has briefed or argued matters in 10 of the 13 federal circuits.
DuMont grew up in the Bay Area, received his undergraduate degree from Yale University, and is a member of the New York and D.C. bars, in addition to California’s.
Copyright 2013, Metropolitan News Company