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Michael J. Gottlieb

Washington, DC

t: 202.237.9617
f: 202.237.6131
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Areas of Practice



Crisis Management and Government Response

Global Investigations and White Collar Defense

Privacy, Cybersecurity & Technology

Securities Litigation


Harvard Law School, J.D., magna cum laude, 2003; Sears Prize Winner, 2002; Editor, Harvard Law Review

Northwestern University, B.A., Political Science, 1999; Two-time winner of the National Debate Tournament (NDT) (1998 & 1999)


Justice John Paul Stevens, U.S. Supreme Court, 2004-2005 Judge Stephen Reinhardt, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, 2003-2004


District of Columbia

New York

California (inactive)

United States Supreme Court

United States Court of Appeals: District of Columbia, Second, Fifth, and the Federal circuits

United States District Courts: District of Columbia

Michael Gottlieb is a partner in the firm’s Washington, DC office.

His practice focuses on data privacy and cybersecurity issues, government and regulatory litigation, white collar criminal investigations and enforcement actions involving state and federal regulatory agencies, securities litigation and enforcement, and appellate and constitutional litigation.

Mr. Gottlieb joined the firm after more than five years in senior positions in the Executive Branch, including three years as Special Assistant to the President and Associate White House Counsel for President Obama (2009, 2011-2013), and more than a year as the Deputy Director of Joint Task Force 435 in Kabul, Afghanistan (2010-2011). Earlier in his career, he served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Central District of California, as an advisor to a United States Senator on the Senate Judiciary Committee, and as a law clerk to Justice John Paul Stevens on the Supreme Court.

In the White House, Mr. Gottlieb advised the President and Senior White House Staff on a wide variety of constitutional, administrative, and national security law issues. His portfolio included complex regulatory, fiscal and budgetary, environmental, intelligence, defense, and foreign policy matters. His work covered regulatory and policy issues across the Executive Branch, often in complex matters involving multiple agencies. He represented the White House in congressional investigations, including an unprecedented multi-year investigation involving sensitive Executive Branch programs. He also helped vet and prepare candidates for nomination and confirmation to the Supreme Court and other federal courts.

In Afghanistan, Mr. Gottlieb served as the Senior Civilian and Deputy Director of Combined Joint Interagency Task Force 435, which was at that time an organization with more than 2,000 personnel spread throughout Afghanistan. The Task Force focused on rule of law development, including anti-corruption work, and the promotion of humane and lawful detention operations in Afghanistan. He oversaw the reorganization of U.S. rule of law development efforts in Afghanistan and helped to establish a national security court organized in Afghanistan under Afghan law. He received the Secretary of Defense’s Medal for Outstanding Public Service and the State Department’s Superior Honor Award for his service.

As an Assistant United States Attorney, and in his earlier years of private practice, Mr. Gottlieb tried to verdict significant civil and criminal matters, and represented clients before the Supreme Court and other courts of appeals. As an Assistant, he handled a wide variety of federal criminal matters from investigation through trial, including cases involving bank and wire fraud, money laundering, export control violations, and identity theft. In his private practice, he was part of a team that won a seven-week False Claims Act jury trial, which followed complex multi-year civil and criminal investigations by the Justice Department, involving an international bid-rigging conspiracy. His team secured one of the largest damage awards under the Act at that time on behalf of a relator. He also drafted significant petitions for certiorari and merits briefs in numerous matters before the Supreme Court.

Since joining the firm, some of Mr. Gottlieb representative matters include: 

  • Representing Sony Pictures Entertainment in response to an unprecedented data breach that targeted the company’s release of the film, The Interview;
  • Representing a major financial institution in its domestic and international response to a data breach;
  • Representing individuals in invasion of privacy and cyber-extortion matters;
  • Defending a former Executive Branch Official in an investigation conducted by the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform;
  • Representing a foreign government in U.S. and international litigation raising issues under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act;
  • Defending a senior executive in an enforcement action involving allegations under various federal securities laws; 
  • Representing a foreign defense contractor in an internal investigation involving civil and criminal elements, including allegations raised under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”);   
  • Providing FCPA advice to a multinational technology and information management company; 
  • Providing training and counseling to the Board of Directors and senior executives of a Fortune 50 company on cyber security and data privacy matters; 
  • Providing executive compensation and conflicts of interest advice to a senior former U.S. Government official in pursuit of private employment; 
  • Serving as Counsel of Record in the United States Supreme Court for a group of former U.S. Government Officials (as amici curiae) for briefing on the merits in Department of Homeland Security v. MacLean;
  • Serving as Counsel of Record in the United States Supreme Court for the U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce and the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (as amici curiae) for briefing on the merits in Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.; 

Mr. Gottlieb is a recognized expert on national security law issues who has appeared on a variety of media outlets.  In 2014 was selected to be a Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations.  


Get Ready for the Next Phase in Cyberattacks, The National Law Journal, October 5, 2015 (with Matthew Schwartz) (click here)

A Tribute to Justice Stevens, 44 Loyola L. Rev. 824 (2011).

One Person, No Vote: The Laws of Felon Disenfranchisement, 115 Harv. L. Rev. 1939 (2002).

Case Comment: Board of Education v. Earls, 116 Harv. L. Rev. 292 (2002).


Related News

Boies, Schiller & Flexner Named Washington Litigation Department of the Year Finalist (June 29, 2015)

Stop the Data Feeding Frenzy (OpEd)

Trends in Litigation: Crisis Management (July 2014)

Data Privacy in North America (APR-JUN 2014 Issue)

Boies law firm takes 'vigorous focus' to D.C. (The Washington Post)

Government Service

Special Assistant to the President and Associate White House Counsel (2009, 2011-2013).

Senior Civilian and Deputy Director, Combined Joint Interagency Task Force 435, Kabul, Afghanistan (2010-2011).

Assistant United States Attorney, Central District of California (2008-2009).

Legal Staff, Senator Charles E. Schumer (2006).