Wiley Rein LLP

Michael Connolly
Practice Areas
  • J.D., New York University School of Law
  • B.A., with distinction, University of Kansas
Law Journals
  • Note Editor, Annual Survey of American Law
Law Clerk for the Honorable Jerome A. Holmes, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit (2008-2009)
Bar & Court Admissions
  • District of Columbia Bar
  • Virginia Bar
  • Supreme Court of the United States
  • U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Second, Fourth, Sixth, Seventh, Ninth, Tenth and District of Columbia Circuits
  • U.S. District Courts for the District of Columbia and Eastern District of Virginia
  • Supreme Court of Virginia

Michael Connolly


202.719.7374  |  mconnolly@wileyrein.com

Mr. Connolly has significant litigation, appellate, and regulatory experience before state and federal courts and administrative agencies. He has a diverse practice encompassing a variety of issues, including arbitration, administrative law, communications law, voting rights law, election law, and federal habeas corpus law. He has particular experience representing wireless and wireline telecommunications companies in complex cases involving federal preemption, the Federal Arbitration Act, the Telecommunications Act of 1996, and the First Amendment. In addition, he frequently represents parties and amici in the U.S. Courts of Appeals and the Supreme Court of the United States. In the past four terms, he has filed more than twenty briefs with the Supreme Court at both the certiorari and merits stages. He also assists clients with matters before the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and other federal agencies.

Mr. Connolly regularly represents clients pro bono. As counsel of record, he secured a remand from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on behalf of a Chinese immigrant seeking asylum based on her fears of forced sterilization. He also assists students participating in the George Mason Supreme Court Clinic in drafting and filing petitions and briefs before the Supreme Court of the United States.


  • Represents clients in matters involving FCC and state regulation of wireless and wireline telecommunications services.
    • Represents a wireless company in its federal preemption challenge to a local ordinance governing the siting of wireless facilities.
    • Represents a wireline telecommunications company in federal actions involving the Pole Attachment Act and the implementation of the FCC’s Pole Attachment Order.
    • Represents companies in enforcement and compliance actions involving FCC regulations and orders, including the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and its implementing regulations.
    • Represented a trade association and a group of network engineers before the Supreme Court of the United States as amici curiae in a case involving the proper regulatory treatment of “entrance facilities” under the Telecommunications Act of 1996.
  • Represents clients before the U.S. Courts of Appeals and the Supreme Court of the United States in cases involving complex statutory and constitutional issues.
    • Represented the State of Colorado before the Supreme Court in a prisoner litigation case involving the waiver of defenses under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA).
    • Won important interlocutory appeal in the Seventh Circuit establishing the First Amendment rights of religious organizations to determine the religious status of its members.
    • Representing individual in a habeas corpus appeal and petition for certiorari raising claims under the Confrontation Clause and the Due Process Clause of the U.S. Constitution.
    • Filed amicus brief on behalf of public-interest groups in the D.C. Circuit challenging an IRS regulation that purports to expand health care subsidies beyond the scope of the statute.
  • Represents clients in complex procedural litigation and appeals involving the enforcement of arbitration agreements.
    • Successfully compelled arbitration in a class action alleging that the wireless industry’s system for assigning common short codes violated the Sherman Act.
    • Obtained temporary restraining order from the New York County Supreme Court enjoining a prohibited class arbitration.
    • Filed influential amicus brief on behalf of a group of law professors in AT&T v. Concepcion, a landmark arbitration case preempting state rules prohibiting class-action waivers.
    • Defeated facial challenge to the Federal Arbitration Act as an unconstitutional delegation of Article III power to a non-Article III forum.
  • Represents states, counties, and individuals in important voting rights and election law litigation.
    • Represented the State of Florida in successfully obtaining preclearance of voting changes from the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.
    • Represented the State of Ohio in defense of action brought under the Equal Protection Clause relating to changes in absentee voting procedures.
    • Represented the Florida Department of State (FDOS) in a successful federal lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) seeking access to the SAVE program.
    • Represented individual challenging a city’s redistricting plan as a violation of the “one-person, one-vote” principle of the Fourteenth Amendment.
  • Regularly represents clients pro bono.
    • Secured remand from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on behalf of a Chinese immigrant seeking asylum based on her fears of forced sterilization if returned to China.
    • Participates in the George Mason University School of Law Supreme Court Clinic by assisting law students in drafting and filing petitions and briefs before the Supreme Court.


  • Research Assistant, Professor Michael E. Levine, New York University School of Law (2008).
  • Research Assistant, Professor Barry Friedman, New York University School of Law (2007).
  • Intern, U.S. Department of Justice, Environmental Torts Division (2006).


  • Federal Communications Bar Association (FCBA).






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