Lecturer on Law
Deepak Gupta is the founding principal of Gupta Wessler PLLC, where he specializes in Supreme Court, appellate, and complex litigation on behalf of plaintiffs and public interest clients. At Harvard, he is teaching a new seminar in Fall 2019 on the history, theory, doctrine, and politics of forced arbitration. He was also recently a Wasserstein Public Interest Fellow at HLS and has taught courses on appellate advocacy and public interest advocacy at Georgetown and American universities.
Deepak has briefed and argued cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, every federal circuit, and eleven state supreme courts, and has testified before the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. His advocacy has covered a wide range of issues, with an emphasis on class actions, consumers’ and workers’ rights, and constitutional and administrative law. In 2019, Deepak argued at the invitation of the U.S. Supreme Court in support of a judgment left undefended by the Solicitor General. In the term ending in 2017, Deepak’s firm was counsel of record for parties in three argued merits cases in the Court (on the First Amendment, preemption, and qualified immunity); he was lead counsel in two of those cases, prevailing in both. In 2010, he argued AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion, a landmark case about the intersection of class actions and arbitration, and he has since played a leading role in the debate over forced arbitration.
Before founding his firm in 2012, Deepak was Senior Counsel for Litigation and Senior Counsel for Enforcement Strategy at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. As the first appellate litigator hired under Elizabeth Warren’s leadership, he launched the new federal agency's amicus program, defended its regulations, and worked with the Solicitor General’s office on Supreme Court matters. For seven years previously, he was an attorney at Public Citizen Litigation Group, where he founded and directed the Consumer Justice Project and was the Alan Morrison Supreme Court Project Fellow.
Deepak’s diverse clients include classes of consumers and workers, Everytown for Gun Safety (in Second Amendment cases), the American Association for Justice (on arbitration and civil justice issues), Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (in litigation over Donald Trump’s violations of the Emoluments Clauses), the Governor of Montana (successfully challenging the Trump Administration’s repeal of dark-money reporting requirements), the City of Philadelphia (defending against a First Amendment challenge to its sexual-orientation non-discrimination policy for foster care providers), the family of an unarmed Mexican teenager shot by a U.S. border guard (in a Supreme Court case on the Constitution’s extraterritorial reach), and a certified class of all federal bankruptcy judges (in successful litigation that recovered $56 million in back pay and benefits for judges due to Congress's violation of the Judicial Compensation Clause).
An elected member of the American Law Institute, Deepak sits on the boards of the National Consumer Law Center, the Alliance for Justice, the University of California’s Civil Justice Research Initiative, and Stable, an organization dedicated to strengthening Washington, D.C.’s contemporary arts community. He was previously on the boards of the Impact Fund and the Institute for Consumer Antitrust Studies, and was co-chair of the Consumer Financial Services Institute. Deepak's commentary on legal issues is often quoted by national newspapers and he has appeared on broadcast outlets including CNN, MSNBC, FOX, ABC (ABC World News, Good Morning America), NPR (All Things Considered, Marketplace), and the BBC. His publications include Arbitration as Wealth Transfer, 5 Yale L. & Pol’y Rev. 499 (2017) (with Lina Khan); Leveling the Playing Field on Appeal: The Case for a Plaintiff-Side Appellate Bar, 54 Duq. L. Rev. 383 (2016); and The Consumer Bureau and the Constitution, 65 Admin L. Rev. 945 (2013).