Kelsi Brown Corkran, a partner in the firm's Supreme Court and Appellate practice, focuses her practice on complex commercial litigation. A former law clerk to Judge David S. Tatel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg of the U.S. Supreme Court, Kelsi has served as lead counsel in dozens of federal and state court appeals. She has argued before the U.S. Supreme Court and 11 of the 13 U.S. Courts of Appeals, including the en banc Ninth Circuit.

Prior to joining Orrick, Kelsi served with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Appellate Staff and as Counsel at Bancroft PLLC. In addition to her extensive appellate experience, Kelsi frequently provides strategic counseling and analysis regarding significant legal issues arising in trial litigation.

At the Department of Justice, Kelsi served as lead counsel for the federal government in more than 30 appeals representing a diverse array of federal agencies, including the Copyright Royalty Board, the Federal Communications Commission, the Department of Transportation, the Department of Agriculture, the Social Security Administration, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Drug Enforcement Administration. Her constitutional and administrative law experience includes briefing and arguing federal appeals involving the First Amendment, the Appointments Clause, the Bill of Attainder Clause, separation of powers, due process, equal protection, and numerous issues of statutory interpretation and regulatory authority.

She also has significant expertise in bankruptcy litigation, serving as lead counsel for the U.S. Trustees in numerous federal appeals, and, in private practice, representing creditor interests and defending against fraudulent conveyance claims. Her financial services practice includes defending against claims under the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989.

In addition to her litigation experience, Kelsi previously served in the Communications Office of the White House’s Executive Office of the President, where she assisted with judicial nominations, including the confirmation hearings of Justice Sonia Sotomayor, and other policy priorities such as economic recovery and health care reform. Before law school, she was a social worker in Philadelphia’s foster care system.

Kelsi serves on the Board of Trustees for the Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia and as Program Co-Chair for the Edward Coke Appellate Inn of Court.

    • Convinced the U.S. Supreme Court to dismiss as improvidently granted Hays’ Petition in a clear victory for our client, Officer Vogt, who is now free to pursue his civil rights claim on remand. City of Hays, Kansas v. Vogt 584 U. S. ____ (US Supreme Court 2018).
    • Represented The Renco Group in a Second Circuit appeal, seeking to overturn a $200 million dollar fraudulent conveyance judgment.
    • Represented the individual executive targeted in the Department of Justice’s high-profile enforcement action against Countrywide arising out of the mortgage crisis, on appeal to the Second Circuit.
    • Represented JPMorgan Chase in a Second Circuit appeal arising from the erroneous termination of a $1.5 billion loan in the General Motors bankruptcy.
    • Served as lead counsel for the Copyright Royalty Board, successfully defending the rates and terms set by the Board for the making and distribution of “phonorecords,” including permanent digital downloads and ringtones, against a challenge by the Recording Industry Association of America. Recording Industry Ass’n of America v. Librarian of Congress, 608 F. 3d 861 (D.C. Cir. 2010).
    • Obtained a significant win in the Fifth Circuit in a major class action case involving the availability of utility assistance to former public housing residents after they were displaced by Hurricane Katrina. Anderson v. Jackson, 554 F.3d 525 (5th Cir. 2008).
    • Successfully defended the Federal Communications Commission against a corporate debtor’s efforts to obtain a declaration that the Bankruptcy Code’s automatic stay provision barred the Commission from auctioning licenses to use radio spectrum previously covered by licenses purchased by the debtor. In re Alpine PCS, Inc., 404 Fed. Appx. 504 (D.C. Cir. 2010).
    • Successfully defended the U.S. Trustees’ interpretation of the Bankruptcy Code’s venue provisions before the Sixth Circuit, Thompson v. Greenwood, 507 F. 3d 416 (6th Cir. 2007), and persuaded the Ninth Circuit to adopt the Trustees’ position regarding the extent to which the repayment of a 401(k) loan may be subtracted from a debtor’s calculation of disposable income, In re Egebjerg, 574 F. 3d 1045 (9th Cir. 2009).

    Kelsi has successfully defended numerous cases involving a wide range of government actions and programs, including:

    • Department of Agriculture cases relating to the pricing formulas and pooling obligations of milk producers. Hettinga v. Vilsack, 428 Fed. Appx. 732 (9th Cir. 2011); Arkansas Dairy Co-op Ass’n v. U.S. Dept. of Agriculture., 573 F. 3d 815 (D.C. Cir. 2009).
    • The federal explosives law standards of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. Vineland Fireworks Co. v. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, 544 F. 3d 509 (3d Cir. 2008).
    • The Drug Enforcement Administration's enforcement of its regulations involving the importation and distribution of chemicals used in the manufacture of controlled substances. Malladi Drugs & Pharmaceuticals, Ltd. v. Tandy, 552 F. 3d 885 (D.C. Cir. 2009).
    • A set of federal appellate cases involving the question whether posthumously-conceived children (i.e., children conceived via assisted reproduction using the genetic material of a deceased person) are eligible for benefits under the Social Security Act as the “survivor” of the deceased biological parent. Briefed and argued the issue in the Third, Fourth, Eighth, and Ninth Circuits, resulting in a circuit split that was subsequently resolved by the Supreme Court in the government’s favor. Astrue v. Capato, 132 S. Ct. 2021 (2012); Schafer v. Astrue, 641 F. 3d 49 (4th Cir. 2011); Beeler v. Astrue, 651 F. 3d 954 (8th Cir. 2011); Capato v. Astrue, 631 F. 3d 626 (3rd Cir. 2011); Vernoff v. Astrue, 568 F. 3d 1102 (9th Cir. 2009).