Cesar Lopez-Morales

Senior Associate

Washington, D.C.

Cesar is an appellate lawyer who litigates key legal issues in high-stakes appeals and dispositive motions in courts across the country.

As a member of the firm's Supreme Court and Appellate group, Cesar draws from his experience at both the trial and appellate level to develop legal strategy, advise clients, and draft persuasive briefs. He is a skilled brief writer who specializes in simplifying complex concepts and crafting a compelling story that frames factual and legal issues in a way that is more likely to produce favorable results for clients.

Cesar has co-authored numerous briefs in federal and state courts of appeals, and at both the certiorari and merits stage in the U.S. Supreme Court. And he is often embedded at the trial level to brief dispositive motions, and to make sure that issues are preserved and that the record is properly developed with an eye towards appeal. His work covers a wide range of substantive areas, including constitutional and administrative law, statutory interpretation, complex commercial litigation, and federal preemption (particularly, in the false claims, products liability, and arbitration context). He also maintains an active pro bono practice, representing immigrants and veterans in their appeals to the federal courts of appeals and filing amicus briefs in precedent-setting cases of public interest. He is especially passionate about advancing the rights of the residents in the U.S. territories.   

Before joining Orrick, Cesar was an attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice's Civil Division, Federal Programs Branch, where he represented the United States and its agencies in dozens of cases involving challenges to the legality of federal laws, actions, and programs. He authored numerous briefs and argued and won dispositive motions in federal district courts nationwide. His experience included litigating cutting-edge matters involving the Appointments Clause; the Spending Clause; the Territory Clause; the First, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendments; the separation of powers; the Administrative Procedure Act; the Federal Vacancies Reform Act; the Freedom of Information Act, and the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act.

Cesar also served as a law clerk to Judge José A. Cabranes of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and then-Presiding Judge of the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review. Before that, he clerked for Judge Rosemary M. Collyer of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, and Judge Jay A. Garcia-Gregory of the U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico.

    • Represent leading biopharmaceutical company in defending against more than 24,000 suits, which have been coordinated for pre-trial purposes under California's Judicial Council Coordinated Proceeding, concerning the development of lifesaving HIV medications.
    • Represented leading biopharmaceutical company in California Court of Appeal in a qui tam action alleging violations of the California False Claims Act and presenting a question of first impression about the federal preemption of claims under state false claims statutes premised on fraud on the FDA.
    • Represented leading biopharmaceutical company in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in a qui tam action alleging violations of the False Claims Act and Anti-Kickback Statute stemming from the organization and implementation of the company's physician speaker programs and advisory boards.
    • Represented FOIA requesters at the certiorari stage in U.S. Supreme Court in two cases about the scope of Exemption 5 of the Freedom of Information Act and the continued vitality of the so-called consultant corollary doctrine.
    • Represented living assisted facility at the certiorari stage in U.S. Supreme Court in case about the federal preemption of a state supreme court’s interpretation of powers of attorney under the Federal Arbitration Act.
    • Represented leading computer technology company in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in an Administrative Procedure Act and a constitutional challenge to the Department of Labor's administrative scheme for prosecuting, adjudicating, and remediating certain claims against government contractors. 
    • Represented leading consumer technology company in U.S. District Court of Northern California in opposing request for preliminary injunction in high-profile litigation involving novel antitrust theories.
    • Represented leading consumer technology company as an amicus in the U.S. Supreme Court in United States v. Arthrex, Inc., to defend the continued operation of inter partes review of patent claims.
    • Represented the U.S. Chamber of Commerce as an amicus in the Ninth Circuit in ICTSI Oregon Inc. v. ILWU, to defend the legality of statutory protections against unlawful secondary boycotts.
    • Represent Military Veterans-Advocacy Inc. as an amicus in the U.S. Supreme Court in Arellano v. McDonough, to defend equitable tolling of deadline in retroactive claim-processing rule.