Scott L. Nelson is an attorney at the Public Citizen Litigation Group in Washington, D.C., where he has practiced since August 2001. Until its dissolution at the end of 2000, Mr. Nelson was a partner in the Washington, D.C. law firm Miller, Cassidy, Larroca & Lewin, L.L.P. (“MCLL”), where he practiced law beginning in 1986. Mr. Nelson was a member of MCLL’s management committee from 1999 to 2000.
Mr. Nelson received his undergraduate education at Harvard University, graduating magna cum laude in 1981 and earning election to Phi Beta Kappa. He went on to attend Harvard Law School, and was elected President of the Harvard Law Review in 1983. He received his law degree magna cum laude in 1984. Immediately upon graduating from law school, Mr. Nelson served as a law clerk to the Honorable Byron R. White, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, from 1984 to 1986. He joined MCLL in the fall of 1986, and became a partner in the firm in 1991.
Both in private practice and at Public Citizen, Mr. Nelson’s law practice has centered on civil litigation and on civil and criminal appellate practice, including practice before the United States Supreme Court. His clients have included a former President of the United States, a sitting United States District Judge, the American Bar Association, and the American Historical Association.
Mr. Nelson’s practice at Public Citizen covers a range of subjects, including access to presidential records and Freedom of Information Act cases, regulation of hazardous substances in the workplace, class actions, and practice before the Supreme Court of the United States. In April 2002 he argued the case Barnes v. Gorman, concerning punitive damages under the Americans with Disabilities Act, before the Supreme Court.
While in private practice, Mr. Nelson’s appellate experience featured death penalty cases, complex white-collar criminal cases, banking and insurance matters, partnership disputes, patent issues, and a variety of constitutional issues and administrative-law issues relating to the disposition of the Presidential papers of former President Richard Nixon.
Mr. Nelson’s private civil practice spanned a diverse range, including: complex environmental and latent health insurance coverage litigation; representation of lawyers and law firms in partnership, employment and ethics disputes; patent litigation; and cases involving major constitutional issues such as federal preemption, First Amendment rights, takings of property without just compensation, and due process. Mr. Nelson’s civil practice has involved him in arbitrations, administrative trial-type hearings, trials in federal court, and appeals in both federal and state court systems.
Mr. Nelson is admitted to the bars of the District of Columbia and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, as well as numerous federal courts.