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January 31, 2017
WASHINGTON—Beth Brinkmann has joined Covington as a partner in the firm’s Appellate and Supreme Court Practice Group in Washington. Ms. Brinkmann served as Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Civil Division of the U.S. Department of Justice from 2009 to 2016. She has argued 24 cases before the Supreme Court of the United States.
Ms. Brinkmann is an experienced appellate and Supreme Court litigator who has served in high-level positions in the Department of Justice and headed the appellate practice of an international law firm. As the Civil Division’s top appellate lawyer, she was responsible for supervising much of the federal government’s civil litigation in appellate courts, including constitutional challenges, administrative law issues, intellectual property matters, and national security cases. During her tenure as Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Ms. Brinkmann presented oral argument in several high-profile court of appeals cases, including the successful defense of the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act and the government’s victory in federal immigration preemption litigation. She also regularly consulted with trial lawyers for the government on legal arguments and strategy at early phases of litigation, made recommendations on appellate matters to the U.S. Solicitor General, and advised leadership at federal agencies regarding litigation risk and regulatory matters.
From 1993 to 2001, Ms. Brinkmann served as an Assistant to the Solicitor General in the Department of Justice. In this role, she briefed and argued cases to the Supreme Court on behalf of the United States and also prepared recommendations for the Solicitor General concerning whether to authorize appeals, petitions for certiorari, and petitions for rehearing en banc.
“Beth’s experience in government and as head of a successful appellate practice at a major law firm makes her a wonderful fit for our practice, and her addition creates an even deeper bench of Supreme Court experience,” said Robert Long, chair of the firm’s Appellate practice. “We are well positioned to handle multiple, major appellate assignments with many senior lawyers who have argued cases in the Supreme Court and significant appeals around the country.”
“I was drawn to Covington’s team-oriented approach to law practice and its long history litigating important cases in the Supreme Court,” said Ms. Brinkmann. “I look forward to the opportunity to help expand the appellate practice and to work with litigation teams at the trial and pretrial levels to develop legal strategy, draft briefs, and position cases for a successful appeal.”
Ms. Brinkmann received an A.B. degree, with great distinction, from the University of California, Berkeley and a J.D. from the Yale Law School, where she was a Note Editor of the Yale Law Journal. Following law school, she clerked for Judge Phyllis Kravitch of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit and Justice Harry Blackmun of the U.S. Supreme Court.