On January 31, 2013, President Obama nominated Gregory A. Phillips to the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, which has jurisdiction over five states: Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, Kansas, and Oklahoma.  Phillips currently serves as Wyoming’s 35th Attorney General, a position to which Wyoming’s Republican Governor, Matt Mead, appointed him in 2011. In announcing the nomination, President Obama said that Mr. Phillips has proven himself “to be not only a first-rate legal mind but a faithful public servant,” stating that it is with “full confidence in his ability, integrity, and independence that I nominate him to the bench of the United States Court of Appeals. [1]

Biography

Gregory Alan Phillips was born in Denver, Colorado in 1960, and grew up in Evanston, Wyoming.  Phillips received his B.S. in economics from College of Commerce and Industry at the University of Wyoming in 1983 and obtained his J.D. from University of Wyoming in 1987.  He served on the law review and upon graduation was selected for the Order of the Coif.  Following graduation, he clerked for Judge Alan B. Johnson of the U.S. District Court for the District of Wyoming from 1987 to 1989.

After his clerkship, Phillips joined his father and brother in their general law practice in Evanston, handling a broad range of civil matters.  During this time, he served for two terms as a Democratic state senator representing Uintah County.  In 1998, Phillips opened the law firm of Mead and Phillips and engaged in a broad-ranging practice, including insurance law, banking law, and federal tort claims.

In 2003, Phillips became an Assistant United States Attorney in the District of Wyoming.  He continued to serve in the United States Attorney’s Office until Governor Mead appointed him to be Special Assistant to the Governor for Legislative Affairs, in 2010, and, subsequently, as Wyoming Attorney General, in 2011.

Legal Experience

Phillips has experience in both civil and criminal law, has litigated extensively in both state and federal courts, has worked as a federal prosecutor and as a general practice attorney, and has served in the public and private sectors.  While at Phillips Law Offices, he practiced in a broad spectrum of law, including in the areas of personal injuries, wills and estates, real property, contract, workers’ compensation, domestic relations, and bankruptcy.

While at Mead & Phillips, Phillips handled a wide variety of civil litigation and prosecuted Medicaid reimbursement claims on behalf of Wyoming.  During his time in the U.S. Attorney General’s office, Phillips handled civil claims and, eventually, criminal prosecutions and appeals on behalf of the government.  As an Assistant U.S. attorney he argued nineteen cases before the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.  One of his most notable cases involved the successful prosecution of a man convicted of arranging to have sexual intercourse with minor girls over the internet. [2]

As Wyoming’s Attorney General, Phillips oversees the prosecution and defense in all suits brought for or against the state, serves as legal advisor for all elected and appointed officers, and represents Wyoming’s interest in state and federal courts.  In furtherance of this duty, Phillips represented Wyoming in a multi-state claim against several pharmaceutical companies alleging Medicare fraud.  As a result, Phillips helped secure a settlement worth over $1.4 million to be used to pay back the federal government and replenish the state’s Medicare budget.[3]

Professional and Community Activities

Phillips was admitted to the Wyoming State Bar in 1987.  Currently, he is admitted to practice before the Wyoming Supreme Court, the U.S. District Court for the District of Wyoming, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, and the United States Supreme Court.

From 1993 to 1998, Phillips served as a state senator for Uintah County.  While in the state legislature, he served on several committees, including the Judiciary Committee, the Education Committee, the Rules and Procedures Committee, the Minerals, Business and Economic Development Committee, and the Management Audit Committee. From 1997 to 1998, he also served as chairman for the Minority Caucus.

Phillips has been an active member in professional and local organizations, including, currently, the Law Enforcement Academy Advisory Board, National Association of Attorney Generals, American Inns of Court, and the Wyoming Peace Officers Standards and Training Commission. Previously, he served on numerous boards and task forces, including the Pioneer Counseling Board of Directors (1990-1992), the Wyoming Task Force on Medicaid Costs (1993-1994), and the Wyoming Community Development Authority Board of Directors (1995-2002).


 


 

[1] Press Release, The White House, President Obama Nominates Two to Serve on the US Court of Appeals (Jan. 31, 2013), available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/01/31/president-obama-nominates-two-serve-us-court-appeals.

[2] United States v. Graham, 413 F.3d 1211 (10th Cir. 2005)

[3] United States ex rel. Thorpe v. GlaxoSmithKline PLC et al., Nos. 1:11-cv-10398-RWZ and 1:12-cr-10206-RWZ, settlement filed (D. Mass. July 2, 2012).