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Patricia O'Connell
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Andrew McBride Named One of 50 “Litigation Trailblazers” Nationwide by The National Law Journal

December 22, 2014

Washington, DC Andrew G. McBride, chair of Wiley Rein’s Appellate and Communications Litigation practices, has been recognized as one of the nation’s top Litigation Trailblazers & Pioneers for 2014 by The National Law Journal (NLJ).  Mr. McBride is among a select group of 50 honorees who have “a deep passion and perseverance in pursuit of their mission,” NLJ said in a special edition published today. 

Mr. McBride, a former law clerk to Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor who also served for 10 years in the U.S. Department of Justice, specializes in in complex litigation often involving new technologies—including copyright and patent disputes, federal preemption defenses, class action defense, enforcement of arbitration clauses, and First Amendment protection for commercial speech.  Widely recognized as a thought leader in his field, he is often quoted by prominent news outlets such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, CBS, CNN, FOX, and NPR.

NLJ cited Mr. McBride’s role in developing the theories regarding government-compelled speech that led the wireless industry to victory in its challenge of a San Francisco ordinance that required radio frequency emission warnings on all cell phones.  He is a trailblazer in the arbitration area as well, having developed the statutory theory that secured Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’ crucial fifth vote in the seminal Federal Arbitration Act decision in AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion.

Mr. McBride is also an innovator in the way litigation is billed, according to the NLJ article.  He often combines a discounted blended rate with a success premium.  “It’s hard to bill for litigation without some reference to hourly rates, but at Wiley Rein we try to give the client a value proposition that includes the firm having some ‘skin in the game,’” he said.

The forced commercial speech issue appears headed for the Supreme Court of the United States, and Mr. McBride said he expects to participate in shaping the result.  In addition, “the plaintiffs’ bar continues to find novel ways to avoid enforcement of arbitration clauses and I will be there to oppose them,” he said.  Mr. McBride expects more retail-facing industries to take advantage of individual arbitration clauses as per Concepcion.  “Expertise in the AAA arbitration rules may one day be as important for a litigator as working knowledge of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure,” he told NLJ.