The Players

Judge Vaughn Walker

Vaughn WalkerVaughn R. Walker is the Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.

Walker was born in Watseka, Illinois and graduated from the University of Michigan and Stanford Law School. After two years as a law clerk for United States District Court for the Central District of California judge Robert J. Kelleher, he was in private practice in San Francisco until his September 7, 1989 nomination by President George H. W. Bush to the federal district court. The Senate confirmed Walker on November 21, 1989. He became chief judge in 2004.


Theodore Olson, Attorney for the Plaintiffs

Theodore OlsonTheodore B. Olson is a partner in Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher’s Washington, D.C. office.

Olson was Solicitor General of the United States from 2001-2004.  From 1981-1984 he was Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Office of Legal Counsel in the U.S. Department of Justice.  Except for those two intervals, he has been a lawyer with Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. since 1965.

He has argued 56 cases in the Supreme Court, including Bush v. Palm Beach County Canvassing Board and Bush v. Gore, stemming from the 2000 presidential election.

As Solicitor General during the presidency of George W. Bush, Olson was the government’s principal advocate in the United States Supreme Court, responsible for supervising and coordinating all appellate litigation of the United States, and a legal adviser to the President and the Attorney General.

Olson received his law degree in 1965 from the University of California at Berkeley (Boalt Hall) where he was a member of the California Law Review and Order of the Coif.

David Boies, Attorney for the Plaintiffs

David BoiesDavid Boies is the founder and Chairman of Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP and is widely regarded as one of the nation’s preeminent trial lawyers. He has been named “Lawyer of the Year,” by the National Law Journal, runner-up for “Person of the Year,” by Time Magazine, The Antitrust Lawyer of the Year by the New York Bar Association, and “Commercial Litigator of the Year” by Who’s Who.

Boies is perhaps best known for serving as lead counsel for former Vice-President Al Gore in connection with the litigation relating to the 2000 Presidential election and for serving as Special Trial Counsel for the United States Department of Justice in its successful antitrust suit against Microsoft. In addition, from 1991 to 1993, Boies was counsel to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation in its litigation to recover losses for failed savings and loan associations. Boies also served as Chief Counsel and Staff Director of the United States Senate Antitrust Subcommittee in 1978 and Chief Counsel and Staff Director of the United States Senate Judiciary Committee in 1979.

Charles J. Cooper, Attorney For the Defendants

Charles J. CooperCharles J. Cooper is a founding member and chairman of Cooper & Kirk, PLLC. Named by The National Law Journal as one of the 10 best civil litigators in Washington, he has over 25 years of legal experience in government and private practice, with several appearances before the United States Supreme Court and scores of other successful cases on both the trial and appellate levels.

Shortly after serving as law clerk to Judge Paul Roney of the Fifth (now Eleventh) Circuit Court of Appeals, and to Justice (later Chief Justice) William H. Rehnquist, Cooper joined the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice in 1981. In 1985 President Reagan appointed Cooper to the position of Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel. Cooper reentered private practice in 1988, as a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of McGuire Woods. From 1990 until the founding of Cooper & Kirk in 1996, he was a partner at Shaw, Pittman, Potts & Trowbridge where he headed the firm’s Constitutional and Government Litigation Group.

(Text and photos from the respective law firm web sites. Judge Walker photo by S. Todd Rogers at the San Francisco Daily Journal.)