Bobby R. Burchfield


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Bobby Burchfield

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Bobby R. Burchfield, a partner in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office, is a courtroom lawyer who has practiced in the area of complex corporate litigation since 1981.  In 2016, BTI selected him as one of only 61 attorneys in the United States to its prestigious list of “Client Service MVPs.” Also in 2016, Benchmark Litigation named him a “National Litigation Star,” and nominated him as one of only five attorneys in the country for “2016 General Commercial Litigator of the Year.”  Chambers has rated him highly for many years in general commercial  litigation and national political law, describing him in its 2016 edition as a “DC institution” having expertise in antitrust law, commercial disputes, and First Amendment litigation, who is a “first-rate attorney with excellent legal analysis and excellent client management skills,” and a “top trial lawyer [who] provides valuable business advice.”  He has been named three times as one of the top 500 lawyers in America by LawDragon, one of the top commercial litigators in the United States by Who’s Who Legal: USA, and one of the top trial lawyers in the D.C. area by the Legal TimesBest Lawyers in America has listed him (in recent years for Antitrust, Commercial, and First Amendment Litigation) for 15 consecutive years. 

Mr. Burchfield has been lead counsel in defense of antitrust litigation for such clients as Amgen, American Can, United Airlines, E.I. duPont de Nemours, the National Football League, and the American Automobile Association; in securities defense for such companies as Ebasco Services, Inc., ITOCHU International Inc., and Bank One, as well as for corporate executives; in RICO defense for such clients as the United States Chamber of Commerce and Tenet Healthcare Corporation f/k/a National Medical Enterprises; in class action defense for such clients as CNH Industrial, BorgWarner and Fortune Brands;in corporate takeover defense for Total-Tel USA Communications, Inc., and in complex contract disputes for many clients.  On behalf of the Republican National Committee and other political parties he argued before the Supreme Court of the United States in their First Amendment challenge to the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law, McConnell v. Federal Election Commission, 540 U.S. 93 (2003), and on behalf of then-Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in the successful First Amendment challenge to aggregate contribution limits, McCutcheon v. FEC, 134 S.Ct. 1434 (2014).  

Before Donald J. Trump was inaugurated as the Forty-Fifth President, Mr. Burchfield accepted the role of Ethics Adviser to the Donald J. Trump Revocable Trust, which holds all of the President’s business interests. By appointment of President George W. Bush, he served on the Antitrust Modernization Commission, which issued its Report and Recommendations on April 2, 2007. He served in 1992 as General Counsel of President George H. W. Bush’s re-election campaign.

Representative Experience

Jury Trials.  Mr. Burchfield has tried cases to juries on behalf of a number of clients, including ITOCHU International, Inc. (contract), the American Automobile Association (personal injury), American Can (contract/antitrust), NN Ball & Roller (contract), Ebasco Services, Inc. (securities class action), ENSERCH Corporation (insurance coverage for professional liability), Dow Corning Corporation (insurance coverage for product liability), The Washington Post's subsidiary Legi-Slate (promissory estoppel), and the RNC (defamation).  Mr. Burchfield has never lost a jury trial.

Bench Trials.  Other trial experience includes bench trials for Amgen, Diageo, Dow Corning, CNH Global, Total-Tel USA Communications, Inc. and two for the RNC, as well as administrative trials before such agencies as the International Trade Commission and the Federal Election Commission.

Arbitrations and Mediations.  Mr. Burchfield has served as lead counsel in a number of major arbitrations, including one for CNH Global (international contract), two for the National Football League (antitrust and contract), two for Newport News Shipbuilding (contract), two for New Holland North America (dealer termination), one for Panhandle Eastern Pipeline Corporation (contract), and one for Tenet Healthcare Corporation (contract). He has also led mediations for such clients as DuPont (antitrust and Lanham Act), two for ITOCHU (False Claims Act), Care Investment Trust (contract), Goodrich Corporation (tax), Tenet Healthcare (RICO) and a health care executive (securities fraud).

Appeals.  In addition to arguing McConnell v. FEC and McCutcheon v. FEC in the Supreme Court, Mr. Burchfield has argued two dozen appellate cases, appearing before five different U.S. Courts of Appeals (D.C., Third, Fifth, Sixth and Ninth), as well as before the D.C. Court of Appeals, the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals, the California Court of Appeals, and the Louisiana Court of Appeals.  Among those cases were arguments for Amgen in an antitrust class action, ITOCHU International in a California False Claims Act case, Exxon Corporation in an environmental case, CNH Industrial America in two retiree health benefits class actions, Industrial Bank of Washington in a complex interpleader and tax case, Bush-Quayle ‘92 in federal election law and First Amendment cases, and ENSERCH in an insurance coverage and securities fraud matter.

A graduate of Wake Forest University with distinction in economics and politics.  Mr. Burchfield received his law degree with high honors from The George Washington University Law School, where he was Editor-in-Chief of the Law Review.  From 1979 to 1981, he clerked for Judge Ruggero J. Aldisert of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

Community Service

Mr. Burchfield served as the President of the Wake Forest Alumni Association and as National Chair of the Wake Forest Fund, and currently serves as Vice Chair of the Wake Forest University Board of Trustees and on the Wake Forest Capital Campaign Cabinet.  In 2006, he received Wake Forest’s Distinguished Alumni Award.  He also served as National Chair of the George Washington Law School Annual Fund, currently serves on the Dean’s Board of Advisers at the Law School, and in 2012 received George Washington University’s Alumni Achievement Award.  In May 2015, he delivered the diZerenga Lecture and Commencement Address at The George Washington Law School. 

Mr. Burchfield also serves as Chair of Crossroads GPS, in 2012 and 2013 served as Chair of the American Heart Association’s Lawyers Have Heart 10K, and formerly served on the board of the Georgetown Pediatric Center.  He is a member of The Economic Club of Washington and a Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America. 

An Eagle Scout at age 13, and a member of the National Eagle Scout Association, Mr. Burchfield received the 2015 “Lawyer of the Year Good Scout Award” and the 2016 National Outstanding Eagle Scout Award from the National Capital Area Council, Boy Scouts of America. Also, in 2015, the Executive Committee of the National Republican Lawyers Association selected him as “Republican Lawyer of the Year.”

Mr. Burchfield is admitted to practice in the District of Columbia.