Robert Loeb

Supreme Court and Appellate

Bob Loeb is a partner in Orrick's Supreme Court and Appellate Litigation practice.

The former Acting Deputy Director and Special Appellate Counsel of the Civil Division Appellate Staff at the U.S. Department of Justice, Mr. Loeb is an accomplished appellate advocate. He has argued more than 150 appeals, including cases in every federal circuit, and six en banc arguments. After clerking for Judge Richard Posner, Mr. Loeb went on to handle the most important appellate cases at the Department of Justice. His reputation for winning the unwinnable cases made him the go-to-person for the government’s most significant civil cases. Mr. Loeb has been involved in some of the most ground-breaking cases in recent history, including Iqbal v. Ashcroft (where the Supreme Court redefined the civil pleading standards to require a plaintiff to plead sufficient facts to show a plausible claim) and Kiobel v. Cape Flattery, Ltd (where the Court rejected extraterritorial application of the Alien Tort Statute).

Mr. Loeb has successfully led briefing teams for the Supreme Court and the courts of appeals in hundreds of cases. He led the appellate litigation team that successfully handled more than 250 appeals involving the detainees at Guantanamo Bay. He has represented former Attorney General John Ashcroft, FBI Director Robert Mueller, and Secretaries of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Robert Gates in their individual capacities in multiple appellate and Supreme Court matters (including Iqbal v. Ashcroft) and was the lead appellate counsel in the most significant Alien Tort Statute cases.

Mr. Loeb's experience, stature and expertise are essential for clients seeking assistance with complex matters involving commercial law, constitutional law, national security, international law, tort law, bankruptcy law or employment discrimination law.

Recent honors include: Presidential Rank Award, Attorney General Distinguished Service Award, Attorney General John Marshall Award, and Stanley D. Rose Memorial Award (the Civil Division’s highest honor).

Robert Loeb
  • Kiobel v. Cape Flattery, Ltd., S. Ct. No. 11-948. Supreme Court amicus brief for the United States addressing whether the Alien Tort Statue can be used to sue corporations and whether it can apply to torts that take place in other countries.
  • Sandifer v. U.S. Steel, S.Ct. No. 12-417. Supreme Court amicus brief on behalf of the Chamber of Commerce addressing the right to collectively bargain over issues relating to the start and end of the day activities.
  • Kaley v. USA, S.Ct. 12-464. Supreme Court amicus brief on behalf of the Florida Assoc. of Criminal Defense Lawyers addressing the right to a post-deprivation hearing where seizure of the defendant’s property burdens the constitutional right to counsel.
  • Sony Computer Entertainment v. 1st Media, LLC, S.C. No. 12-1086 Supreme Court brief for petitioner (Sony) responding to the Solicitor General and seeking certiorari to address the Federal Circuit’s approach to a patent applicant’s inequitable conduct.
  • Ashcroft v. Iqbal, S. Ct. 556 U.S. 662. Supreme Court holds that allegations of improper motive are not sufficient to state a discrimination claim and that the civil pleading standards require a plaintiff to plead sufficient facts to show a plausible claim.
  • In re Microsoft Corp., BALCA (en banc).  Successfully challenging the Department of Labor’s rule change regarding hiring of foreign nationals, saving Microsoft millions of dollars and saving the jobs of thousands of employees. 
  • DISH v. CenturyLink, 2d Cir.  Successfully representing DISH in $30 million contract dispute with a bundler of its services.
  • Pennsylvania v. Philip Morris, PA.  Representing the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in its challenge to an arbitration panel ruling in favor of the tobacco companies that will cost the Commonwealth more than $240 million.
  • Judicial Watch v. Department of Defense, D.C. Cir., No. 12-5137. The court of appeals refuses to order release death photographs of Osama bin Laden.
  • Hedges v. Obama, 2d Cir. No. 12-3176 (July 17, 2013). The court of appeals reverses the district court order enjoining military detention authority enacted by the National Defense Authorization Act.
  • Vance v. Rumsfeld, 7th Cir. 701 F.3d 193. Sitting en banc, court of appeals rejects damage claims asserted by former military detainees.
  • Arar v. Ashcroft, 2d Cir. 585 F.3d 559. Sitting en banc, court of appeals rejects damage claim asserted by alien removed to Syria, who claimed he was subject to torture by the Syrian government after his removal.
  • Christian v. United States, Fed. Cir. 337 F.3d 1338. Saving the government more than US$1 billion, the court of appeals holds that a “harmless error” analysis precluded awarded relief to two-thirds of the class in these sex and race discrimination cases against the military.
  • Pigford v. Glickman, D.C. Cir. 369 F.3d 545. Court of appeals upholds US$2 billion consent decree settling class action Equal Credit Opportunity Act and Title VI claims.
Admitted In
  • District of Columbia
Court Admissions
Supreme Court of the United States
    United States Courts of Appeals
    • District of Columbia Circuit
    • First Circuit
    • Second Circuit
    • Third Circuit
    • Fourth Circuit
    • Fifth Circuit
    • Sixth Circuit
    • Seventh Circuit
    • Eighth Circuit
    • Ninth Circuit
    • Tenth Circuit
    • Eleventh Circuit
    • Federal Circuit

    • J.D., cum laude, University of Chicago Law School, 1987
    • B.A., Economics and Political Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1984
    • Hon. Richard A. Posner, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

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