President Joe Biden nominated Bradley N. Garcia to the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit on June 15, 2022 for the seat vacated by Judge Judith W. Rogers. Mr. Garcia would be the first Latinx person to sit on the D.C. Circuit.
Mr. Garcia was born in 1986 in Gaithersburg, Maryland. He graduated in 2008 from the Johns Hopkins University, earning the Dean of Student Life Award for campus leadership. After college, he went directly to Harvard Law School, where he graduated in 2011 magna cum laude. At Harvard, he was the Editor & Alumni Chair of the Harvard Law Review, a Dean’s Scholar, and a research assistant for Professors Jack Goldsmith and Louis Kaplow. After law school, Mr. Garcia clerked for two federal judges: Judge Thomas B. Griffith of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and Justice Elena Kagan of the Supreme Court of the United States.
After completing his Supreme Court clerkship in 2013, Mr. Garcia joined O’Melveny & Myers LLP as an Associate and was promoted to Partner in 2021. In 2022, Mr. Garcia joined the Office of Legal Counsel at the U.S. Department of Justice as a Deputy Assistant Attorney General; there, Mr. Garcia provides legal advice to the United States and federal government agencies on constitutional, statutory, and regulatory law issues.
Mr. Garcia’s legal experience, mostly at O’Melveny & Myers, has centered on federal appellate practice. He has presented 13 appellate arguments in courts including the Supreme Court of the United States and the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the First, Third, Fourth, Ninth, Eleventh, and Federal Circuits. Mr. Garcia has drafted briefs in dozens more cases in federal and state appellate courts, including briefing eleven cases in the merits stages before the U.S. Supreme Court. During his time at O’Melveny & Myers, Mr. Garcia represented companies, nonprofit organizations, and individuals and took on a significant number of pro bono cases.
Mr. Garcia has broad civil experience. While he focused on commercial litigation, he also had a substantial pro bono practice.
Mr. Garcia has significant intellectual property experience. For example, in Profectus LLC v. Google LLC, Mr. Garcia represented Google after the company was sued for patent infringement. Profectus claimed that its patent for a mountable picture frame was infringed by Google’s Nest Hub and Nest Hub Max, which perform a wide variety of functions including displaying digital images. After a four-day trial, a jury found that Google did not infringe on the patent. In In re Samsung Electronics Co., Mr. Garcia also represented Samsung Electronics after they were sued by Ikorongo Texas LLC for patent infringement in the Western District of Texas. Ikorongo Texas LLC was a corporation specifically created by a larger company, Ikorongo Technology LLC, ten days before filing the lawsuit in order to force the litigation to take place in Texas. The district court rejected a motion to transfer venue to the Northern District of California, where witnesses and proof were located. Mr. Garcia appealed to the Federal Circuit, which held that plaintiff’s attempts to “manipulate venue” were not binding and ordered the case transferred to the Northern District of California.
Labor and Employment
Mr. Garcia’s labor and employment experience primarily involves representing employers. For example, in China Agritech, Inc. v. Resh, Mr. Garcia represented China Agritech, an agricultural corporation. Two shareholders sued China Agritech in 2011 and 2012, alleging violations of securities law, but class certification was denied in both instances; two years later, a different shareholder, Michael Resh, brought a new class action suit alleging the same violations of securities law. The case ultimately went to the Supreme Court, which ruled 9-0 in favor of China Agritech; the Court held that if class certification has been already denied, someone who could have taken part in the earlier class actions cannot file a new class action outside the statute of limitations.
Mr. Garcia’s civil experience also includes civil rights litigation. For example, in Carr v. Inch, Mr. Garcia represented four incarcerated people who sued the Federal Bureau of Prisons for failing to provide religiously appropriate meals, in violation of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). The plaintiffs, who were Muslim, alleged that the prison did not provide halal meals, forcing them to eat food incompatible with their religious beliefs in order to survive. The litigation, which stretched from 2013 to 2021, ended with a court-ordered settlement favorable to the plaintiffs that included an award of attorney’s fees.
Mr. Garcia’s civil rights experience also includes a robust amicus practice. For example, Mr. Garcia authored an amicus brief on behalf of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) for the U.S. Supreme Court case Evenwel v. Abbott. In Evenwel, plaintiffs Sue Evenwel and Edward Pfenniger sued Texas Governor Greg Abbott, claiming that Texas’s interim redistricting plan violated the Fourteenth Amendment because it was based on total population rather than registered voter population. LDF’s amicus brief, in favor of Governor Abbott, highlighted the long-standing precedent that total population, not registered voters, must be counted when legislative districts are drawn. The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously agreed with LDF and Mr. Garcia’s brief, holding that the “one person, one vote” principle allows states to design districts based on total population.
Mr. Garcia’s criminal law experience includes significant habeas appeals. A habeas petition is a tool used by incarcerated people to challenge the constitutionality of their detention. In Lester v. Flournoy, Mr. Garcia represented Mr. Lester, who was sentenced to 22 years in prison for a drug offense because he was designated a career offender based on prior conviction for a walkaway escape. Mr. Garcia successfully argued that Lester’s misclassification as a career offender was a fundamental defect, thus permitting him to seek habeas relief. After several years of litigation, Mr. Garcia argued the case in the Fourth Circuit and won, leading to Mr. Lester being resentenced and released.
Mr. Garcia’s criminal law background also includes significant experience at the intersection of criminal law and immigration law. In U.S. v. Swaby, Mr. Garcia represented Phillip Swaby, a citizen of Jamaica, in a Sixth Amendment ineffective assistance of counsel challenge. Mr. Swaby, who had been a permanent lawful resident and is married to a U.S. resident, pled guilty to a deportable, aggravated felony based on his attorney’s misunderstanding of immigration law. The Fourth Circuit found that Mr. Swaby’s Sixth Amendment rights had been violated due to ineffective counsel, vacated his conviction, and remanded the decision for further proceedings. In United States v. Palomar Santiago, Mr. Garcia served as pro bono lead Supreme Court counsel for Mr. Palomar-Santiago, a lawful permanent resident who had been removed from the country for a Driving Under the Influence (DUI) conviction in 1998. Mr. Palomar-Santiago was later charged with lawful reentry, which he challenged after a Supreme Court decision that DUIs do not constitute aggravated felonies supporting removal. While the district court and Ninth Circuit agreed with Mr. Palomar-Santiago, the Supreme Court reversed on standing grounds that largely did not engage with the constitutional issues.
Professional Activities and Accolades
In addition to his significant pro bono practice at O’Melveny & Myers, Mr. Garcia has provided service to the legal community in other ways. Mr. Garcia was a member of the MacArthur Justice Center’s Supreme Court and Appellate Advisory Board, where he advised the non-profit on its appellate practice and partnered with its attorneys in appeals. Mr. Garcia also serves as a volunteer with the Supreme Court Institute at Georgetown University Law Center, helping train the next generation of lawyers on appellate practice.
Mr. Garcia has received a wide range of accolades for his appellate litigation work. In 2021, he won the Bloomberg Law Appellate Fresh Face award and the National Law Journal DC Rising Star award. Mr. Garcia also earned the Impact in the Courts Award from the National Immigration Project and the National Impact Case award from Benchmark Litigation California.