Rachel Wainer Apter is a member of the firm’s Supreme Court and Appellate Litigation practice. Rachel has been a lead drafter on dozens of briefs in federal and state appellate tribunals and in the U.S. Supreme Court.

Her work spans a wide range of subject areas, including employment, bankruptcy, intellectual property, and constitutional litigation, and she has worked on many cases raising complex issues of statutory interpretation. She also maintains an active pro bono practice, recently presenting argument in the D.C. Court of Appeals on behalf of a defendant convicted of first degree murder.

Prior to joining Orrick, Rachel served as a law clerk to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Chief Judge Robert Katzmann of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and Judge Jed Rakoff of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Rachel sits on the selection committee of the Immigrant Justice Corps, the country's first fellowship program dedicated to meeting the need for high-quality legal assistance for immigrants seeking citizenship and fighting deportation.

  • Recent engagements include:

    • Representing a group of world class designers in an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court that has garnered attention in the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, and the Financial Times. The brief was submitted in support of Apple in Samsung Electronics Co. v. Apple, the first design patent case the Supreme Court has heard in more than 100 years.
    • On behalf of Williams Sonoma, Inc., winning a dismissal in California state court of a putative class action that sought reporting time pay for employees who were scheduled for "on-call" shifts and then told that they did not need to report to work.
    • On behalf of the Animal Legal Defense Fund, successfully convincing the Ninth Circuit to reconsider, en banc, the standard of review that it applies in FOIA cases decided on summary judgment. The case is Animal Legal Defense Fund v. FDA.
    • Representing two individuals in Sheriff v. Gillie, the third Fair Debt Collection Practices Act case to reach the Supreme Court. Although the Supreme Court held that the use by private attorneys of the Ohio Attorney General's letterhead is not misleading, it did not exempt those attorneys from the strictures of the FDCPA, which has proven very important to organizations fighting against deceptive debt collection practices in Ohio. 
    • Representing Orrick in In the Matter of Ehrman, LLP, a case that the Ninth Circuit recently certified to the California Supreme Court to consider whether a dissolved law firm has a property interest in hourly fee matters that are in progress at the time the law firm dissolves.
    • In Medtronic, Inc. v. Robert Bosch Healthcare Systems, Inc., winning the dismissal of an appeal for lack of appellate jurisdiction where the appellant attempted to appeal a decision of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board that vacated its decision to institute inter partes review and did not reach the merits of patent validity. Appellant has petitioned the Federal Circuit for rehearing en banc.
    • On behalf of Intel and VIZIO, Inc., submitting an amicus brief to the Supreme Court in Impression Products v. Lexmark, arguing that one authorized sale should exhaust a patent holder's patent rights, whether that sale takes place inside or outside of the United States, and regardless of the patent holder's attempts to impose post-sale restrictions. In June, the Court called for the views of the Solicitor General.
    • Successfully convincing the Supreme Court to grant certiorari in MHN v. Zaborowski, a case which considered California's arbitration only severance rule. The case reached a settlement before oral argument.
    • Representing the City of Los Angeles before the Supreme Court in City of Los Angeles v. Patel, an important Fourth Amendment case that considered whether a Los Angeles ordinance which required hotel operators to keep specific hotel records available for police inspection was facially unconstitutional. 
    • In High Point Design v. Buyers Direct, securing a victory in the Federal Circuit for a slipper manufacturer accused of design patent infringement.