GEYSER P.C. IS ONE OF THE NATION’S LEADING SUPREME COURT AND APPELLATE BOUTIQUES
Geyser P.C. focuses on high-stakes appellate litigation. It handles all kinds of cases at the highest levels of the judiciary, typically against elite practice groups at large law firms. It is often retained by clients and lawyers to handle their most difficult, high-profile appeals, whether acting as lead counsel or working together with existing teams. And its success has captured industry recognition, making the National Law Journal’s elite “Appellate Hot List” and earning weekly honors as a Law360 “Legal Lion.”
The firm was launched in 2018 by Daniel L. Geyser, an award-winning brief-writer and former appellate chair of a prominent litigation boutique. He has represented major corporations, governments, individuals, inventors, taxpayers, entrepreneurs, consumers, classes, debtors, creditors, businesses, non-profits, and national trade organizations. He regularly handles significant cases in the Supreme Court of the United States and in federal courts of appeals nationwide. In addition to an active federal practice, he has handled landmark appeals in state courts, often with millions at stake.
As a generalist practice, the firm does not limit its focus to specific courts or substantive fields. It relies on the depth of its experience, creativity, and insight to quickly master any legal doctrine, factual record, or statutory and regulatory scheme. And its past work has led to deep subject-matter expertise in a wide variety of areas, including administrative law, arbitration, attorney’s fees, bankruptcy, class actions, consumer protection, criminal law, ERISA, federal jurisdiction, federal preemption, free speech, intellectual property (especially patents), products liability, securities, and taxation.
Put simply, the firm’s practice mirrors that of appellate groups at elite law firms in every way but one: its size.
Supreme Court Practice
The firm regularly litigates in the Supreme Court of the United States. In the first 45 days of the firm’s existence, it won one major Supreme Court case and convinced the Court to grant review in another. Mr. Geyser has handled seven merits cases in the past three Terms (OT 2015-2017), arguing four of those cases. And the firm is lined up to handle four more merits cases in OT 2018, representing over five percent of the Court’s overall docket. These cases cover a broad range of subjects, including bankruptcy, securities law, arbitration, consumer protection, class actions, ERISA, and white-collar criminal issues.
The firm’s practice extends to all stages of litigation before the Court, including seeking or opposing review, briefing and arguing cases on the merits, organizing amicus campaigns, representing amicus parties directly, and coordinating with the Office of the Solicitor General. The firm is often retained in the courts of appeals to best position cases before the Court—whether to maximize or minimize the odds of further review. And it advises on tactical decisions, including whether the prospects of a grant warrant the expense of a petition.
The firm today is among the most active Supreme Court practices in the country.
The firm regularly litigates in federal and state appellate courts. It is typically retained to go against major players in serious disputes. The firm is currently handling high-stakes matters in multiple federal circuits, covering issues like patent law, bankruptcy, ERISA, consumer protection, and securities. It is hired to overturn adverse decisions and to protect significant wins, usually in complex, high-profile cases. And it is often retained at the rehearing stage, where it has special expertise.
The firm’s experience extends to nearly every federal court of appeals, and to multiple state appellate courts, including the Texas Supreme Court (where Mr. Geyser has argued six times).
As a small sample, Mr. Geyser’s past experience includes winning consumer-protection issues in the Second Circuit; winning a variety of constitutional issues in the Fifth Circuit; convincing the Ninth Circuit (sitting en banc) to overturn its own precedent on a bankruptcy issue; separately convincing a panel of the Ninth Circuit to create a circuit split on an arbitration question; handling multiple appeals in the Federal Circuit on behalf of inventors, often with eight- and nine-figure stakes; representing a class of consumers defending the largest jury verdict in Maryland history against a debt collector; persuading the Texas Supreme Court to adopt Chevron-like principles of administrative deference at the state level; and defeating a State’s effort to impose $15-20 million in purported tax liability regarding two commercial office buildings, prevailing on complex issues of federal preemption, state taxes, and bankruptcy jurisdiction.
GENERAL LITIGATION AND STRATEGIC ADVISING
The firm’s practice extends beyond appellate courts. The firm is retained to litigate complex legal issues in district court, especially when the stakes are high. This often includes briefing key motions, providing insight and tactical advice on strategy, framing legal theories, and preserving the optimal issues for appeal.
The firm also engages in strategic advising on difficult legal questions. This includes drafting white papers on complex constitutional questions; advising on sensitive issues (often to avoid litigation); and evaluating lower-court decisions to determine whether to appeal in the first place.
COLLABORATING WITH CO-COUNSEL
While the firm is regularly retained to take over cases on appeal, it is often hired (by clients or other lawyers) to partner with existing teams at the appellate level. The firm takes pride in developing strong relationships with co-counsel, leveraging the experience, knowledge, and expertise of each member of the team. The paramount objective is always to achieve the best possible result for the client; but the firm also believes in making the process a productive, rewarding experience for everyone involved.
The firm competes directly with major law firms in all areas except one: fees. The firm’s efficiency and experience make it possible to provide elite-level services without imposing elite-level rates. And the firm’s fee arrangements are flexible. It has clients who prefer hourly billing, flat fees, contingent fees, success bonuses, and other hybrid arrangements. The firm’s goal is always to add significant value that easily exceeds cost, and the firm encourages arrangements that reward success. The firm prefers to win when you win.
The following cases reflect a limited sample of the firm’s experience in appellate courts nationwide (including those litigated by Mr. Geyser before launching this practice):
Sought and obtained U.S. Supreme Court review in a bankruptcy case to decide whether, under the Bankruptcy Code, a creditor’s “good faith” precludes liability for discharge violations. Taggart v. Lorenzen, No. 18-489, 2019 WL 98543 (U.S. Jan. 4, 2019) (order).
Sought and obtained U.S. Supreme Court review in a case to decide whether non-judicial foreclosures are covered by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Obduskey v. McCarthy & Holthus LLP, No. 17-1307, 2018 WL 1335753 (U.S. June 28, 2018) (order).
Argued and won a major white-collar challenge to the scope of the Mandatory Victims Restitution Act, eliminating a multimillion dollar restitution award. Lagos v. United States, 138 S. Ct. 1684 (2018).
Argued and won a bankruptcy case establishing important principles regarding the appellate standard of review in the “non-statutory insider” context. U.S. Bank Nat’l Ass’n v. The Village at Lakeridge, LLC, 138 S. Ct. 960 (2018).
Argued and won a partial reinstatement of a multimillion verdict in a complex commercial dispute involving groundbreaking technology for packaging micrometric powders. Stelluti Kerr, LLC v. MAPEI Corp., 703 F. App’x 214 (5th Cir. 2017).
Crafted core legal theories and strategy in an important case involving federal jurisdiction in securities cases, winning unanimously. Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc. v. Manning, 136 S. Ct. 1562 (2016).
Argued and won significant appeal as amicus establishing that the Bankruptcy Code does not broadly repeal the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act in the discharge context. Garfield v. Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC, 811 F.3d 86 (2d Cir. 2016).
As lead appellate counsel for the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys, argued and won a case expanding the availability of attorney’s fees in prosecuting violations of the automatic stay, convincing the en banc court to overturn past circuit authority. America’s Servicing Co. v. Schwartz-Tallard (In re Schwartz-Tallard), 803 F.3d 1095 (9th Cir. 2015) (en banc).
Crafted core legal theories and wrote briefs defeating California’s attempt to impose $15-20 million in alleged tax liability in a Chapter 11 case involving two commercial office buildings, prevailing on complicated issues of federal preemption, state taxes, and bankruptcy jurisdiction. Wilshire Courtyard v. Cal. Franchise Tax Bd. (In re Wilshire Courtyard), 729 F.3d 1279 (9th Cir. 2013); Cal. Franchise Tax Bd. v. Wilshire Courtyard (In re Wilshire Courtyard), No. 10-1275, 2015 WL 1544681 (B.A.P. 9th Cir. 2015) (decision on remand).
Served as lead architect of all briefing and appellate strategy in landmark case involving Congress’s spending power and state sovereignty, prevailing 6-2 before the Court. Sossamon v. Texas, 563 U.S. 277 (2011).
Crafted appellate theories and orchestrated briefing in wiping out adverse findings in a patent case threatening multimillion-dollar infringement litigation. Samsung Elecs. Co., Ltd. v. Rambus, Inc., 523 F.3d 1374 (Fed. Cir. 2008).
Argued and won a significant decision asking whether the Federal Arbitration Act requires the enforcement of an arbitration agreement with a forum-selection clause when the named forum is unavailable, convincing the court to create a circuit conflict. Reddam v. KPMG LLP, 457 F.3d 1054 (9th Cir. 2006).