J.D., Yale Law School, 2006
Book Reviews Editor, Yale Law Journal
Potter Stewart Prize (moot court winner)
Edgar M. Cullen Prize
Judge John R. Brown Award
U.S. Foreign Language & Area Studies Scholarship (Arabic)
A.M., Stanford University, 2000
A.B., with honors and distinction, Stanford University, 2000
Phi Beta Kappa
District of Columbia
Ariel N. Lavinbuk, Associate
Ariel N. Lavinbuk is a trial and appellate litigator with a broad commercial practice that includes intellectual property and international legal disputes. He also counsels clients on matters related to government ethics, and has represented elected officials, their staff, and lobbyists in criminal actions and congressional investigations.
In recent years, Ariel has argued or briefed cases in scores of federal and state trial courts, and in nearly every federal court of appeals. His Supreme Court experience includes petition and merits-stage briefing in eight cases-among them, Costco v. Omega (2010) and Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons (2013), in which his work helped persuade the Court to permit, for the first time and over the Solicitor General’s objection, the parallel importation of copyrighted goods made abroad.
Ariel began his career at McKinsey & Co., where he advised technology and media companies on a wide variety of strategic and organizational issues. He also spent time on the management staff of Teach For America, where he placed nearly 2,000 teachers in over twenty school districts nationwide and disbursed millions of dollars in financial aid.
Ariel clerked for Judge Stephen F. Williams on the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. He is widely published, with works appearing in the Harvard Law Review, the Yale Law Journal, and Slate, among other publications. He is also a fellow and founding board member of the Truman National Security Project, and is a frequent panelist at Georgetown Law School’s Supreme Court Institute.
Representative matters include:
Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 133 S. Ct. 1351 (2013), and Costco Wholesale Corp. v. Omega, 131 S. Ct. 565 (2010): Represented Costco Wholesale Corp. as a party and as amicus curiae in a pair of Supreme Court cases addressing whether the Copyright Act’s first-sale doctrine applies to copies made abroad by a U.S. copyright holder. In June 2013, by a 6-3 majority and over the objection of the Solicitor General, the Court accepted Costco’s argument that the doctrine does apply, and that copyrighted goods originally made abroad can therefore be imported and sold in the United States.
Big Vision Pvt. Ltd. v. E.I. Du Pont de Nemours & Co. (No. 11 Civ. 8511, S.D.N.Y.): Representing plaintiff in a suit alleging breach of contract and misappropriation of trade secrets in the global market for commercial banner technology.
Moradi, et al. v. Adelson, et al. (No. 2:11-CV-490, D. Nev.) and Kohanim v. Adelson, et al. (No. A-11-636656-B, Nev.): Representing the Board of Directors of Las Vegas Sands Corp. in state and federal shareholder-derivative suits alleging violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in Macau, China.
Aurelius Capital Master, Ltd., et al. v. Acosta, et al. (No. 3:13-cv-01173, N.D. Tex.): Representing plaintiffs in a suit alleging breaches of fiduciary duty by the directors of Energy Future Competitive Holdings Company in connection with loans made following the largest leveraged buyout in United States history.
Atlantic Recording Corp., et al. v. Project Playlist, Inc. (No. 08 Civ. 3922, S.D.N.Y.): Represented major record label plaintiffs in a copyright infringement suit against a streaming-music website. The matter settled after defendant’s motion to dismiss was denied.
Pegasus Imaging Corp. v. Northrop Grumman Corp., et al. (No. 8:07-CV-01937, M.D. Fla.) and Pegasus Imaging Corp. v. Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., (No. 8:2010-CV-01617, D. Mass.): Represented defendant Northrop Grumman in suits alleging copyright infringement and breach of software license. The matters settled after defendants secured a mistrial in one action.
Represented Freedom House, an international democracy-promotion organization, in connection with the criminal prosecution of seven employees, in Egypt, for distributing foreign aid and assistance to Egyptian political and civil society groups.
Advised a major financial-services firm on ICANN’s expansion of the World-Wide Web’s general Top-Level Domains (gTLDs).
Represented a sitting Member of Congress, during a high-profile Senate campaign, in connection with an investigation by the U.S. House of Representatives Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE). The investigation was ultimately dropped without becoming public.
Represented two lobbyists for a major financial-services firm in connection with a criminal investigation of lobbying disclosure irregularities. The investigation was ultimately dropped without charges and without becoming public.