Bench Memos

Law & the Courts

Who Is Ken Lee?

Ken Lee is President Trump’s nominee to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit from California.

Age:  43 (approximate)

Current Position:  Partner, Jenner & Block LLP (Los Angeles, CA)

Education:

  • B.A., Cornell University; summa cum laude (1997); Phi Beta Kappa
  • J.D., Harvard Law School (2000), magna cum laude

Judicial Clerkship: Judge Emilio Garza, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit (2000-2001)

Professional Experience:

  • 2009-Present: Partner, Jenner & Block LLP (Los Angeles, CA)
  • 2006-2009: Associate Counsel to the President, The White House (Washington, D.C.)
  • July 2005-September 2005: Special Counsel, U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee (Washington, D.C.)
  • 2001-2005: Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz LLP (New York, NY)

Career Notes:

  • Lee has litigated dozens of consumer class action lawsuits in California, Florida, New York on behalf of companies in a wide variety of industries, including food, technology, and healthcare.
  • He has served as lead counsel in class action and other business litigation matters, and first-chaired jury trials, bench trials, and arbitrations.
  • Lee has also briefed and argued appeals before various federal circuit courts, including the Second Circuit, Fifth Circuit, and the Ninth Circuit.
  • During his tenure in The White House Counsel’s Office, Mr. Lee represented the White House in congressional and other governmental investigations, and provided advice for the President and senior White House officials on a host of legal and compliance issues.
  • Lee has maintained a robust pro bono practice, and has represented several indigent and incarcerated individuals in constitutional litigation.

Professional Associations:

  • Lee is listed as an expert for The Federalist Society and has been a speaker and panelist on the topics of Food & Drug Law, Class Actions, and the Constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act.
  • Lee serves on the Food Law Committee of the Litigation Section of the California State Bar

Honors:

  • In 2018, Los Angeles Business Journal named Mr. Lee one of its “Most Influential Minority Attorneys”
  • In 2015, Mr. Lee was profiled in Super Lawyers and was praised for his “creative strategies” and for “making things happen quietly.”
  • In 2014, The Daily Journal (the largest legal newspaper in California) named Mr.

Lee one of its “Top 20 Lawyers under 40” in California for his class action defense work on behalf of food companies.

Carrie Severino is chief counsel and policy director to the Judicial Crisis Network.

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