In appellate matters, Mr. DeBruin has argued cases before the United States Supreme Court, numerous federal appellate courts, and state supreme courts. Mr. DeBruin argued and obtained a unanimous decision in favor of his clients in Bridge v. Phoenix Bond & Indemnity Co., 128 S. Ct. 2131 (2008), and he was appointed by the Supreme Court to argue and defend the judgment below in favor of the United States in Clay v. United States, 537 U.S. 522 (2003). Mr. DeBruin also served as one of the principal lawyers for Theodore B. Olson in Morrison v. Olson, 487 U.S. 654 (1988), the case involving the constitutionality of the independent counsel statute, and for Jose Padilla in Rumsfeld v. Padilla, 542 U.S. 426 (2004), the case involving the right of the President to detain an American citizen seized in this country as an “enemy combatant.” In Grutter v. Bollinger, 539 U.S. 306 (2003), and Gratz v. Bollinger, 539 U.S. 244 (2003), Mr. DeBruin represented Microsoft Corporation, General Electric Company and 63 other leading American businesses in support of the efforts of the University of Michigan to admit a diverse student body in its Law School and College of Arts and Sciences. Among many other cases, Mr. DeBruin also served as lead counsel for General Dynamics Corporation in a successful defense of a trial court judgment rejecting claims of the United States in a $300 million action brought under the False Claims Act, United States v. General Dynamics Corp., 19 F.3d 770 (2d Cir. 1994); he represented Steelcase, Inc. and persuaded the Court of Appeals to reverse an $8 million judgment for compensatory and punitive damages against the company and direct that judgment be entered for Steelcase, dismissing the case, Propulsion Technologies, Inc. v. Attwood Corporation, 369 F.3d 896 (5th Cir. 2004); and he represented Black & Decker Corporation in National Union Fire Ins. Co. v. Emhart Corp., 11 F.3d 1524 (10th Cir. 1993), in which the Court of Appeals reversed a $10 million judgment against Black & Decker and directed that judgment be entered for the company, ending the case.
In energy litigation, Mr. DeBruin has extensive experience. He is leading the representation of Exelon in challenges in Maryland and the District of Columbia to the recent merger of Exelon and Pepco Holdings, Inc. Mr. DeBruin also served as lead trial counsel in a case brought by Exelon, PSEG, Calpine and PPL in New Jersey involving state subsidies for construction of three natural gas generation facilities. He has also been involved in contract disputes for natural gas deliveries, construction disputes in connection with new natural gas generating facilities in New England and a significant mischarging dispute at FERC, among other matters.
In securities, fraud and other white collar litigation, Mr. DeBruin also has handled a wide range of matters. He recently represented the audit committee of a major corporation in connection with a confidential internal investigation, and he has represented the former CEO of BISYS Group, Inc., the former CFO of SIRVA, Inc., and other corporate officials in SEC investigations, shareholder securities class actions, and shareholder derivative suits. Mr. DeBruin has represented General Dynamics Corporation, General Electric Company, Honeywell International and other companies in fraud, False Claims Act, and qui tam cases. In other criminal litigation, Mr. DeBruin represented several employees of General Electric in an antitrust price-fixing case involving industrial diamonds, and several persons affiliated with the Hsi Lai Temple, in California, in a case involving allegations of illegal campaign finance contributions.
In other civil litigation, Mr. DeBruin served as lead counsel for plaintiffs in an antitrust price discrimination action involving the bookselling industry, in which the American Booksellers Association and 26 independent bookstores brought claims against chain retailers Barnes & Noble and Borders. Mr. DeBruin also has handled matters for clients before the Federal Election Commission, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the former Interstate Commerce Commission, and he has represented witnesses in several congressional investigations. In 1986, Mr. DeBruin served as Special Counsel to the Judiciary Committee of the United States House of Representatives in connection with the impeachment proceedings involving Judge Harry E. Claiborne, the first impeachment proceedings in the United States Senate in the modern era.