John S. Moran Partner

John Moran is an experienced litigator and counselor who draws on broad experience from private practice and government service that includes government enforcement, regulatory litigation, high-stakes civil disputes, and congressional hearings. He is a former senior DOJ and White House official and a member of the firm’s nationally recognized Government Investigations and White Collar Litigation practice. John also served as a law clerk to the Honorable Antonin Scalia, Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, and to the Honorable Jeffrey S. Sutton of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

John was previously a partner in the D.C. office of another prominent international law firm. He represented clients before state and federal courts at the trial and appellate levels, including before the U.S. Supreme Court. Among other things, he defended clients in putative class-actions, False Claims Act suits, trade-secret litigation, confidential arbitration, and litigation that required coordination of numerous cases in different jurisdictions. John has experience representing plaintiffs and petitioners as well, including seeking emergency or other injunctive relief to protect clients’ interests and challenging agency action under the Administrative Procedure Act.

John served in senior policy and operational roles at the U.S. Department of Justice, including as Chief of Staff to the Deputy Attorney General (and Acting Attorney General) and as Deputy Chief of Staff to the Attorney General. In those roles, he advised on the most important legal and policy issues facing the Department, including in civil, criminal, and national-security matters. John also previously served as Associate Counsel to the President in the Office of White House Counsel, where he advised the President and White House staff on legal issues and judicial nominations. In that role, John coordinated with the Department of Justice on litigation involving the White House and worked with policy officials and attorneys across the Executive Branch on high-priority administrative actions—particularly, at the Department of Interior, the Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Council on Environmental Quality.


Represented a major multinational industrial company in defending an $80 million trade-secret action against the client and an employee over a supply contract for a major U.S. military contract brought by the employee’s former employer.

Represented a major multinational industrial company in a (rare) direct action by the United States under the False Claims Act over material manufactured from the client’s product which was made and sold by third parties to state and local law enforcement with federal subsidies.

Represented a major telecommunications company in defending against a claim of racial discrimination in contracting for channel carriage under 42 U.S.C. § 1981, including the briefing of a novel causation issue on which the U.S. Supreme Court recently sided with the client.

Represented major broadcasting company in successfully challenging a 2014 ruling of the Federal Communications Commission which applied common-ownership limitations for broadcast television stations to stations that entered into joint sales agreements for advertising.

Represented affiliates of a major international automation company in successfully defending against RICO claims brought by the Republic of Iraq against over 70 corporate defendants over their alleged collusion with Saddam Hussein to divert funds from the UN’s Oil-for-Food Program.

Represented a major food distribution company in post-trial briefing and a successful Seventh Circuit appeal, which reversed a $178 million jury verdict in a personal-injury tort action.

  • University of Virginia School of Law, JD, Order of the Coif, Articles Development Editor, Virginia Law Review, 2010
  • University of Virginia, BA, 2007

Selected for inclusion in “Legal 500 United States,” Corporate Investigations and White-Collar Criminal Defense, 2021

  • District of Columbia
  • Virginia
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
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