Michael F. Qian

Associate | Washington D.C.

mqian@mofo.com | (202) 887-1515

(202) 887-1515

Michael Qian, a member of Morrison & Foerster’s Appellate and Supreme Court Practice, has significant experience briefing and arguing appeals.

Michael has briefed appeals in the U.S. Supreme Court and other appellate courts across the country. He also has successfully presented oral argument in three federal courts of appeals, the Ninth, Eleventh, and D.C. Circuits.

Michael’s practice encompasses a wide range of subjects. He has prepared appellate briefs and critical motions in matters involving constitutional law, jurisdiction and procedure, statutory interpretation, patents, arbitration, and class actions. For example, Michael drafted a winning Federal Circuit brief that secured dismissal of a patent-infringement suit against our client Verizon on the ground that the asserted patents claimed unpatentable subject matter. He also played a key role in significant Ninth Circuit victories for our client UPS, ending two nationwide class actions related to its branded Next Day Air and 2nd Day Air package-delivery services.

Michael contributes to both of our appellate blogs: Left Coast Appeals, which keeps tabs on the Ninth Circuit, and Federal Circuitry, which takes a data-driven approach to analyzing the Federal Circuit and its decisions.

Before joining Morrison & Foerster, Michael worked in the Office of the U.S. Solicitor General as a Bristow Fellow. He participated in litigation before the U.S. Supreme Court, advised on authorization of government appeals, and successfully briefed and argued an appeal in the Ninth Circuit.

Michael served as a law clerk to the Honorable Ruth Bader Ginsburg of the U.S. Supreme Court and the Honorable Merrick B. Garland of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

Michael graduated first in his class from Stanford Law School, where he was Executive Editor of the Stanford Law Review. While at Stanford, Michael won Best Oralist in the Kirkwood Moot Court competition. He also helped draft merits- and certiorari-stage briefs in the U.S. Supreme Court as a member of the Stanford Supreme Court Litigation Clinic. Before law school, Michael worked as a business strategy consultant at a major international firm.

Oral Arguments

  • Curling v. Kemp (11:50)
    (11th Cir.) Briefed, argued, and won affirmance in appeal concerning sovereign immunity and standing on behalf of voters challenging the security of Georgia’s electronic voting system.
  • In re Sealed Case
    (D.C. Cir.) Briefed, argued, and won vacatur as court-appointed amicus in precedent-setting case about a party’s ability to litigate under a pseudonym.
  • United States v. Torres (08:25)
    (9th Cir.) Briefed, argued, and won affirmance on behalf of the United States in appeal regarding Fourth Amendment and Due Process Clause challenges to a criminal conviction and sentence.
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