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The contributors to the Consumer Law & Policy blog are lawyers and law professors who practice, teach, or write about consumer law and policy. The blog is hosted by Public Citizen Litigation Group, but the views expressed here are solely those of the individual contributors (and don't necessarily reflect the views of institutions with which they are affiliated). To view the blog's policies, please click here.

Deepak Gupta

Gupta Wessler PLLC, 1900 L Street, NW, Suite 312, Washington, DC 20009
(202) 888-1741 | deepak @ |

Deepak Gupta is the founding principal of Gupta Wessler PLLC, a national plaintiffs'-side appellate boutique. He specializes in Supreme Court and appellate litigation, with an emphasis on class actions, consumers' and workers' rights, and constitutional law. He is also an Adjunct Professor of Law at both Georgetown and American universities, teaching courses on public interest and appellate advocacy.

Deepak has briefed or argued cases on a wide range of issues before the U.S. Supreme Court, federal appellate and district courts nationwide, and seven state supreme courts. Most recently, he argued before the U.S. Supreme Court in AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion (2011), a landmark case at the intersection of arbitration, federal preemption, and the ability of consumers and employees to join together through class actions.

Before leaving government to start his own plaintiffs-side appellate boutique, Deepak served as Senior Litigation Counsel and Senior Counsel for Enforcement Strategy at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau during the new federal agency’s historic founding in 2011-2012. As the first appellate litigator hired under the leadership of Professor Elizabeth Warren, he was instrumental in launching the agency’s amicus program, defending its regulations in court, and working with the Solicitor General's office on Supreme Court matters. His duties also included advising top officials on topics including preemption, arbitration, consumer law, and administrative law.

For seven years previously, Deepak was an attorney at Public Citizen, where he founded and directed the Consumer Justice Project to collaborate with advocates nationwide on class actions and appeals. He started with Public Citizen as the Alan Morrison Supreme Court Project Fellow, coordinating assistance to litigants in public interest cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. Deepak's experience also includes working on voting rights litigation at the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, church-state litigation at Americans United for Separation of Church and State, prisoners’ rights litigation at the American Civil Liberties Union, and two years as a law clerk to the Honorable Lawrence K. Karlton of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California. He received his law degree from Georgetown, studied Sanskrit for one year at Oxford, and received his undergraduate degree in philosophy from Fordham, where he competed in numerous parliamentary debate tournaments, including the World Universities Debating Championships in Manila, Philippines and Athens, Greece.

In addition to his litigation work, Deepak has engaged in public policy advocacy related to his cases, has appeared on television and radio programs including ABC’s World News and Good Morning America, CNN’s Lou Dobbs Tonight, National Public Radio’s All Things Considered, and Fox News, and has been quoted by publications including The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune,and USA Today. He frequently speaks at national legal conferences and law schools, and is the co-founder (with Professor Jeff Sovern) of the Consumer Law and Policy Blog.

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U.S. Supreme Court:

In re American Express Merchants Litigation (May an arbitration clause preventing class-action litigation be held unenforceable where it would effectively preclude any action seeking to vindicate the plaintiffs' federal statutory rights?) (pending at cert stage)

McBurney v. Young (Does a state law restricting public-records access to citizens of that state violate the Privileges and Immunities Clause or dormant Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution?) (pending at cert stage)

Edwards v. First American Financial, No. 10-708 (Do consumers have Article III standing to seek statutory damages for a violation of an anti-kickback statute where they allege kickbacks but no effect on the price or quality of services?) (co-counsel for United States)

Freeman v. Quicken Loans, No. 10-1042 (Does the Real Estate Settlement Services Act prohibit a defendant from charging fees for services it did not perform, or does the Act prohibit only arrangements in which the defendant shares fees with another company?) (co-counsel for United States)

AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion, 131 S. Ct. 1740 (2011) (Are state-law decisions striking down class-action bans as unconscionable preempted by the Federal Arbitration Act?) (briefed and argued)

Compton Unified School District v. Starvenia Addison, 132 S.Ct. 996 (2012) (Are claims under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act limited to intentional conduct?) (successful brief in opposition)

Chase Bank USA v. McCoy, 131 S.Ct. 871 (2011) (Do Truth-in-Lending regulations require notice of a credit-card rate increase, where the cardholder agreement authorizes a maximum default rate?) (co-counsel at the merits stage)

Mills v. Midwest Title Loans, 131 S.Ct. 83 (2010) (Is an Indiana law regulating car title loans unconstitutional extraterritorial regulation under the dormant Commerce Clause?) (cert-stage amicus)

U.S. Bank National Association v. Thomas, 130 S.Ct. 3504 (2010) (Are state-law usury claims against federally insured state-chartered banks completely preempted by the Federal Deposit Insurance Act?) (successful brief in opposition)

Rent-a-Center v. Jackson, 130 S.Ct. 2772 (2010) (May an arbitration agreement delegate the question of the arbitration agreement's validity to the arbitrator?) (co-counsel; merits stage)

Stolt-Nielsen v. Animalfeeds International, 130 S.Ct. 1758 (2010) (Where the parties have asked the arbitrators to decide whether class arbitration is permissible and the arbitrators have answered in the affirmative, have the arbitrators exceeded their powers?) (amicus; merits-stage)

Jerman v. Carlisle, McNellie, Rini, Kramer & Ulrich, LPA, 129 S.Ct. 2863 (2009) (Is ignorance of the law a complete defense to civil liabilty for abusive collection practices?) (amicus; merits-stage)

Cassens Transport Co. v. Brown, 130 S.Ct. 795 (2009) (May workers sue their employers for workers' compensation fraud, or are such suits reverse-preempted by the McCarran-Ferguson Act?) (successful brief in opposition)

Mohawk v. Carpenter, 130 S.Ct. 599 (2009) (Are denials of attorney-client privilege claims immediately appealable through the federal courts?) (successful merits briefing)

The Coffee Beanery v. WW, Welshans, and Williams, 130 S.Ct. 81 (2009) (May arbitration awards be vacated based on manifest disregard of the law?) (successful brief in opposition)

Friends of Pinto Creek v. Carlota Copper Company, 129 S.Ct. 896 (2009) (Did the EPA’s issuance of a permit for an open-pit copper mine on one of the nation’s most endangered rivers violate Clean Water Act regulations?) (successful brief in opposition)

T-Mobile USA, Inc. v. Laster, 128 S. Ct. 2500 (2008) (Are decisions striking down class-action bans as unconscionable under state law preempted by Federal Arbitration Act?) (successful brief in opposition)

R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company v. Tuazon, 549 U.S. 1076 (2006) (Does general jurisdiction based on sales-related contacts alone violate the Due Process Clause?) (successful brief in opposition)

John Hancock Insurance Company v. Patten, 549 U.S. 975 (2006) (Should the manifest-disregard-of-law standard for judicial review of arbitration awards be narrowed?) (successful brief in opposition)

Garry Ioffe v. Skokie Motor Sales, Inc., 546 U.S. 121 (2006) (Does the Motor Vehicle Safety and Information Act, also known as the Odometer Act, extend to title fraud unrelated to mileage?) (unsuccessful petition for certiorari)

Dolan v. United States, 546 U.S. 481 (2006) (To what extent does the United States Postal Service have sovereign immunity from personal-injury suits under the Federal Tort Claims Act?) (successful merits briefing)

Jones v. Flowers, 547 U.S. 220 (2006) (Does due process require the state to take additional steps to notify a property owner upon return of a certified-mail notice of a tax sale or property forfeiture?) (successful petition for certiorari and merits briefing)

Will v. Hallock, 546 U.S. 345 (2006) (Does the collateral-order doctrine allow an interlocutory appeal from a decision denying the federal government’s invocation of the Federal Tort Claims Act judgment bar?) (successful merits briefing)

General Motors v. Delmas Ford, et al., 546 U.S. 935 (2005) (Does the application of one state’s law in a nationwide products-liability class action violate the Commerce Clause or Due Process Clause?) (successful brief in opposition)

Arpaio v. Demery, 545 U.S. 1139 (2005) (Do 24-hour Internet video broadcasts of the activities of pretrial jail detainees violate their right to substantive due process?) (successful brief in opposition)

Bayer AG v. Paul, 544 U.S. 919 (2005) (Do federal appellate courts have jurisdiction to review remand orders where the reasons for remand are different from those identified in the motion to remand?) (successful brief in opposition)

SSA Gulf, Inc. v. Magee, 544 U.S. 904 (2005) (Does the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act completely preempt state law?) (successful brief in opposition)

Johanns v. Livestock Marketing Association, 544 U.S. 550 (2005) (Can an advertising program that all beef producers are compelled by the government to support be saved from invalidation as compelled speech on the theory that it is government speech or commercial speech) (amicus, merits stage)

Lockhart v. United States, 546 U.S. 142 (2005) (May the federal government withhold a person’s Social Security disability benefits to collect on old student loan debt?) (drafted successful petition for certiorari; case was unsuccessful on the merits)

Correctional Services Corporation v. Malesko, 534 U.S. 61 (2001) (May a prisoner sue a private prison corporation under Bivens for violating his or her constitutional rights under the Eighth Amendment?) (drafted ACLU’s amicus brief)

* * *

State and Federal Appellate Courts:

Soutter v. Equifax (4th Cir.) (retained, after the completion of briefing, to argue opposite former Solicitor General Paul Clement in this post-Wal-Mart appeal arising out of a Fair Credit Reporting Act class action; defending a district court decision certifying a statewide class of consumers whose credit reports indicated that they had outstanding judgments when in fact those judgments had been vacated, satisfied, or dismissed) (pending)

Torres, et al. v. Gristede's (2nd Cir.) (defending a district court decision holding that billionaire John Castimatides is personally liable -- as an "employer" under the Fair Labor Standards Act -- for millions of dollars in wage-and-hour violations to a class of workers at a chair of grocery stores that he owns; Castimatides is represented on appeal by former Solicitor General Walter Dellinger) (pending)

Dilts v. Penske (9th Cir.) (appealing a decision holding that a provision of the California labor code requiring meal and rest breaks for employees is preempted, as applied to a class of truck drivers, by the Federal Aviation Authorization Act of 1994 -- a transportation deregulation measure that expressly preempts state law relating to "prices, routes, or services") (pending)

Brady v. Deloitte & Touche (9th Cir.) (retained to brief and argue an interlocutory appeal from a decision decertifying a class action on behalf of unlicensed California employees of the accounting firm alleging overtime violations) (pending)

Grayson v. AT&T (D.C. 2011). (Must plaintiffs suffer injury-in-fact to sue under D.C.’s Consumer Protection Act?) (amicus)

Lee v. Carter-Reed (New Jersey S.Ct.) (May the marketer of a dietary supplement that purports to shrink belly fat and reduce stress evade class certification of deceptive-trade-practices claims on the grounds that it made multiple claims about the product's efficacy, all of which are alleged to be false?)

Pepper v. Routh Crabtree, 219 P.3d 1017 (Alaska 2009) (in case of first impression nationwide, won reversal of lower court's dismissal on grounds that the First Amendment's Petition Clause and the Noerr-Pennington doctrine immunize unfair and deceptive trade practices carried out in the context of litigation) (briefed and argued) [audio of oral argument]

West v. Carfax, 2009-Ohio-6857 (Ohio App. 2009) (won reversal on appeal of a nationwide class-action settlement) (briefed and argued)

Harris v. Mexican Specialty Foods, 564 F.3d 1301 (11th Cir. 2009) (won reversal of lower-court decision striking down Fair Credit Reporting Act’s statutory-damages provision as unconstitutional under the Due Process Clause) (briefed and argued)

Danow v. Borack, 2009 WL 2883469 (11th Cir. 2009) (successfully defended jury verdict in collection harassment case) (lead appellate counsel)

Picard v. Credit Solutions, Inc., 564 F.3d 1249 (11th Cir. 2009) (whether the Credit Repair Organizations Act’s anti-waiver provision precludes mandatory binding arbitration) (amicus)

New York State Restaurant Ass'n v. New York City Bd. of Health, 556 F.3d 114 (2nd Cir. 2009) (holding New York City’s regulation requiring posting of calorie counts on fast food menus is not preempted by the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act and does not violate the First Amendment’s prohibition on compelled speech) (lead counsel for amici Congressman Henry Waxman, former FDA Commissioner David Kessler, American Medical Association, American Public Health Association, American Diabetes Association, Center for Science in the Public Interest, and professors of medicine, nutrition, and public health)

Del Campo v. Kennedy, 517 F.3d 1070 (9th Cir. 2008) (won precedent establishing that private government contractors may not be shielded by state sovereign immunity under the Eleventh Amendment) (briefed and argued) [audio of oral argument]

Sidun v. Wayne County Treasurer, 481 Mich. 503, 751 N.W.2d 453 (Mich. 2008) (won constitutional due-process challenge to foreclosure of client's home) (briefed and argued)

Reichert v. National Credit Systems, Inc., 531 F.3d 1002 (9th Cir. 2008) (defeated a debt collector’s novel reliance-on-the-creditor defense to liability under Fair Debt Collection Practices Act) (briefed and argued) [audio of oral argument]

Palmer v. Friendly Ice Cream Corp., 285 Conn. 462, 940 A.2d 742 (Conn. 2008) (whether denials of class certification are appealable final orders under the “death knell” theory) (briefed and argued)

Griffin v. Bierman, 403 Md. 186, 941 A.2d 475 (Md. 2008) (unsuccessful constitutional due-process challenge to Maryland’s home mortgage foreclosure procedures; in response to the decision, procedures were subsequently reformed by the Maryland Legislature) (briefed and argued)

Jones v. Flowers, --- S.W.3d ----, 373 Ark. 213 (Ark. 2008) (established, on remand from a U.S. Supreme Court victory in a constitutional challenge to state tax foreclosure procedures, that attorney’s fees may be recovered under federal civil rights law even when the plaintiff’s original complaint did not cite the federal statute) (briefed, co-counsel)

Rosario v. American Corrective Counseling Services, 506 F.3d 1039 (11th Cir. 2007) (won reversal of a lower-court decision dismissing a statewide class action; the court, distinguishing its own prior precedent, held that a private corporation under contract with Florida state prosecutors was not entitled to state sovereign immunity under the Eleventh Amendment) (briefed and argued)

Beuter v. Canyon State Professional Services, 261 Fed.Appx. 14 (9th Cir. 2007) (successful appeal establishing that debt collectors cannot avoid liability under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act based on reliance on their clients) (lead appellate counsel)

Danow v. Borack, 197 Fed.Appx. 853(11th Cir. 2006) (obtained reversal of a district court’s improper sua sponte dismissal of a consumer's complaint of telephone harassment by a debt collector) (lead appellate counsel)

Luessenhop v. Clinton County, 466 F.3d 259 (2nd Cir. 2006) (adopting amicus brief’s argument that the federal Tax Injunction Act does not preclude plaintiffs from bringing constitutional due-process challenges to state tax foreclosure procedures in federal court) (amicus)

Stackhouse v. McKnight, 168 Fed. Appx. 464 (2nd Cir. 2004) (reversing magistrate judge’s approval of a consumer class-action settlement on grounds that objectors had not waived their right to decision by an Article III judge) (briefed, co-counsel)

American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio v. Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board, 243 F.3d 289 (6th Cir. 2001) (en banc) (co-authored brief of Americans United for Separation of Church and State and Anti-Defamation League as amici curiae in constitutional challenge to Ohio's Biblical motto)

* * *

Federal District Courts:

Koch Industries v. Does (Youth for Climate Truth) (D. Utah) (whether a spoof website and press release concerning an industrial conglomerate's position on climate change constitutes trademark infringement, cybersquatting, computer hacking, or breach of contract)

Chamber of Commerce v. Servin (Yes Men), (D.D.C) (whether a parody Chamber of Commerce press conference by climate-change activists constitutes trademark infringement)

Public Citizen, et al v. Mukasey, 2008 WL 4532540 (N.D. Cal.) (lead counsel for three national consumer groups in a successful APA unreasonable-delay suit against the U.S. Department of Justice, resulting in creation and implementation of the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System)

Briggs v. Army & Air Force Exchange Service (N.D. Cal.) (obtained $7.4 Million settlement for a nationwide class of soldiers and veterans in a case challenging the government’s illegal withholding of veterans' federal benefits to collect old debts arising out of purchases of military uniforms)

Rosario v American Corrective Counseling Services (M.D. Fla.), Hamilton v. American Corrective Counseling Services (N.D. Ind.), and Del Campo v. American Corrective Counseling Services (N.D. Cal.) (representing statewide classes of consumers in Florida, Indiana, and California challenging the abusive practices of a debt collector that operates collection programs under contract with local prosecutors, using false threats of prosecution and jail to coerce payment of collection fees)

Schwarm v. District Attorney Technical Services, 552 F. Supp. 2d 105 (E.D. Cal. 2008) (successfully represented a statewide class of plaintiffs in California challenging the abusive practices of a debt collector that operated collection programs under contract with local prosecutors)

New York State Restaurant Ass’n v. New York City, 509 F. Supp. 2d 351 (S.D.N.Y. 2007) and NYSRA v. NYC II, 2008 WL 1752455, stay denied, 545 F. Supp. 2d 363 (S.D.N.Y. 2008) (lead counsel for Congressman Henry Waxman, former FDA Commissioner David Kessler, the American Medical Association, the American Public Health Association, the American Diabetes Association, other public health groups, and leading professors of medicine and public health, as amici curiae, in defense of New York City’s calorie labeling law against challenges based on federal preemption and First Amendment)

Dynetech v. Leonard, 523 F. Supp. 2d 1344 (M.D. Fla. 2007) (successfully represented two consumer-review websites in this Internet free speech dispute, in which an infomercial company attempted to invoke trademark law to stifle critical commentary about its questionable investment software products)

Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now v. Federal Emergency Management Agency, 463 F. Supp. 2d 26 (D.D.C. 2006) (successfully represented survivors of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in a constitutional due process challenge to FEMA’s procedures for denying federal disaster assistance)

* * *


“Teaching Arbitration,” Teaching Consumer Law Conference, Center for Consumer Law, University of Houston, May 18, 2012

Symposium on “AT&T v. Concepcion: One Year Later,” Cardozo Law School, New York, April 26, 2012

Co-Chair, Annual Consumer Financial Services Institute, Practicing Law Institute, New York, April 9-10 and Chicago, May 3-4, 2012 (sessions on arbitration, preemption, and the CFPB)

“Fine Print, Federalism, and the Fate of the Class Action,” Public Lecture, John Marshall Law School, Chicago, March 22, 2012 (also guest taught administrative law class focused on agency design and CFPB)

“Federal Preemption Doctrine from a Consumer Perspective,” Symposium on Mass Torts in the Federal Courts, Charleston, South Carolina, February 24, 2012

“Consumer Financial Protection After Dodd-Frank: The New Legislation’s Enhanced Enforcement Structure,” New York City Bar, March 8, 2012

“Plenary Address: Life After Concepcion,” 20th Consumer Rights Litigation Conference, Chicago, November 4, 2012

“The Future of Consumer Arbitration & Class Action Waivers,” ABA Business Section, Boston, April 15, 2011

Faculty, PLI Annual Consumer Financial Services Institute, Chicago, March 31-April 1, 2011

Guest speaker, University of Houston Law School, Mar. 28, 2011

Panelist, Conference on “The Future of Arbitration,” George Washington University Law School, March 17, 2011

Guest speaker, Capital University School of Law, Columbus, Ohio, March 11, 2011

Guest speaker, University of Toronto Faculty of Law, March 7, 2011

Faculty, PLI Annual Consumer Financial Services Institute, New York, February 28-March 1, 2011

Speaker, “Arbitration and Class Actions,” Symposium on Consumer Class Actions, Boston, November 14, 2010

“AT&T v. Concepcion: A Panel Discussion,” (with Randy Barnett, Brian Wolfman, and Ira Rheingold), Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, DC, November 9, 2010

“Appellate Advocacy From Desk to Podium, A Panel Discussion with Washington’s Finest Appellate Advocates” (with David Frederick, Irv Gornstein, Leondra Kruger, Cate Stetson, and Dori Bernstein), Georgetown Law Barristers’ Counsel, October 27, 2010

“Consumer Law in the Supreme Court,” Consumer Law Society, Georgetown University Law Center, September 2010

Guest Faculty (with Carter Philips and Robin Conrad), “The Business of Justice: Corporate and Business Cases in the Roberts Court,” Summer Institute on Law and Government, American University, June 2010

Guest lecturer (with Ralph Nader), “Topics in Consumer Protection,” Washington College of Law, American University, June 2010

Speaker, “Consumer and Civil Justice Cases in the U.S. Supreme Court: The October 2009 Term,” Conference on Teaching Consumer Law in the New Economy, Center for Consumer Law, University of Houston, May 21-22, 2010

Speaker, “Class-Silent Arbitration Clauses and Stolt-Nielsen: A View from the Supreme Court,” American Bar Association, Section of Litigation Annual Conference, New York, April 22, 2010

Speaker, “The National Motor Vehicle Title Information System” National Consumer Law Center, Webinar, Boston, March 18, 2010

Participant, Consumer Arbitration Study Group, American Bar Association, Section of Dispute Resolution, Washington, DC, January 2010

Speaker, "National Motor Vehicle Title Information System," 18th Consumer Rights Litigation Conference, National Consumer Law Center, Philadelphia, November 2009

Moderator, “Fighting for Consumer Justice: Challenges in a Changing Economy,” Equal Justice Works Conference, Washington, DC, October 2009

Panelist, “Arbitration: Has It Fulfilled Its Promises?” American Bar Association Annual Meeting, Chicago, July 2009

Speaker, “Ending Mandatory Arbitration: Strategies for Restoring Access to the Courts,” Symposium on “The Future of Public Rights Litigation,” Fordham Law School, New York, March 2009

Panelist, “Consumer Fraud Class Actions on Life Support,” American Bar Association, National Institute on Class Actions, Washington, DC, November 2008

Speaker, “The Petition Clause, the Noerr-Pennington Doctrine, and Debt Collection Litigation,” 17th Consumer Rights Litigation Conference, National Consumer Law Center, Portland, OR, November 2008

Panelist, “Conscientious Objectors: The Ethics of Representing Objectors to Class Action Settlements” Symposium on Consumer Class Actions, National Consumer Law Center, Washington, DC, November 2007

Speaker, “Fair Debt Collection Practices Act Developments,” National Consumer Rights Conference, Miami, November 2006

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