Douglas W. Dunham focuses his practice on federal and state appellate matters, having played a key role in numerous high-profile matters before the U.S. Supreme Court and state courts across the country. Mr. Dunham has extensive experience coordinating, preparing and leading teams of lawyers in nationwide litigation matters at trial and on appeal for leading insurance and pharmaceutical companies. In addition, he has represented clients in federal securities, environmental, commercial, employment, discrimination and white collar criminal litigation.
Mr. Dunham has gone before the U.S. States Supreme Court in connection with 27 matters, supervising and authoring certiorari petitions and curiae briefs. He has defended clients against consumer fraud claims, claims involving insurance sales practices and claims of personal injury as the result of exposure to, or the consumption of, asbestos, tobacco and alcoholic beverages. Mr. Dunham frequently counsels clients, especially universities and hospitals, on how best to minimize exposure to potential liability.
Mr. Dunham maintains an active pro bono practice, preparing and submitting amicus curiae briefs before the U.S. Supreme Court as Counsel Record for organizations and individuals, including: the Partnership of New York City, Inc., members of the U.S. Congress, U.S. veterans associations, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the National Association of Federal Defenders and Families Against Mandatory Minimums.
Recently, Mr. Dunham was listed by BTI Consulting Group as a 2022 Client Service All-Star.
Prior to joining Dechert, Mr. Dunham was an of counsel at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan.
- State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. in the successful supervision and preparation of a petition for writ of certiorari and merits briefs before the U.S. Supreme Court in State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. v. Campbell, 538 U.S. 408 (2003), the landmark case regarding federal constitutional limitations on punitive damages.
- Metro-North Commuter Railroad Co. in the successful supervision and preparation of a petition for writ of certiorari and merits briefs in Metro-North Commuter Railroad Co. v. Buckley, 521 U.S. 424 (1997), in which the U.S. Supreme Court addressed limitations on emotional distress and medical monitoring claims under the Federal Employers’ Liability Act.
- Submission of numerous amicus curiae briefs in cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, including Morrison v. National Australia Bank Ltd. (2010) (counsel of record); General Motors Corp. v. Bryant (2009); Safeco Insurance Company of America v. Burr (2007); Philip Morris USA v. Williams (2007); and Ford Motor Co. v. Smith (2003).
- State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. in several federal and state appellate and trial courts across the country, including supervision and preparation of winning appellate briefs in the Illinois Supreme Court in Avery v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., 835 N.E.2d 801 (Ill. 2005), which resulted in reversal of a US$1.1 billion judgment against the insurer; in the Ohio Supreme Court in Cullen v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., 999 N.E.2d 614 (Ohio 2013), which reversed certification of a 100,000-member class seeking to recover US$100 million; and in Hill v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., 166 Cal. App. 4th 1438 (2008), which affirmed summary judgment for the insurer in a certified nationwide class action contending the insurer had up to US$47 billion in excess surplus.
- State Farm Fire & Casualty Company in directing legal defense at appellate and trial court levels of numerous property and other claims; representative victories include Wiley v. State Farm Fire & Cas. Co., 538 F.3d 206 (5th Cir. 2009); Broussard v. State Farm Fire & Cas. Co., 523 F.3d 618 (5th Cir. 2008); Tuepker v. State Farm Fire & Cas. Co., 507 F.3d 346 (5th Cir. 2007); and in Re: Katrina Canal Breaches Litig., 495 F.3d 191 (5th Cir. 2007), cert. denied, 128 S. Ct. 1231 (2008).
- MetLife in directing legal defense at appellate and trial court levels against numerous class actions and individual lawsuits regarding premiums and interest rates in life insurance policies.
Includes matters handled at Dechert or prior to joining the firm.
- Rabiej Litigation Law Center’s Class Actions Conference — Virtual (July 20-21, 2023) Speaker, "Validity of incentive or service awards for class representatives challenged in class actions; and (ii) Lessons from establishing plaintiffs’ leadership structure in mass-tort MDLs applied to class actions (Mann v. Norfolk Southern Railway Co.)"
- Chair, New York State Judicial Screening Committee for the Appellate Division, Second Department, 2011-Present
- New York State Judicial Screening Committee for the Court of Claims
- New York State Bar Association Special Committee on Federal Legislative Priorities
- Board of Trustees, New York Interest on Lawyers Account Fund, 2007-Present
- Columbia Law School, J.D., 1987
- Harvard University, M.A., 1984, Phi Beta Kappa
- Harvard University, B.A., 1983, magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa
- New York