Michael F. Qian

Associate | Washington, D.C.

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

Michael Qian, a member of Morrison & Foerster’s Appellate and Supreme Court practice, has significant experience briefing cases in the U.S. Supreme Court and other appellate courts across the country. Michael also has successfully presented oral argument in the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the First, Ninth, Eleventh, and D.C. Circuits.

Michael’s practice encompasses a wide range of subjects. He has handled appeals and critical motions in cases 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 on the ground that the asserted patents claimed unpatentable subject matter. He also drafted a winning Third Circuit brief in a patent-licensing suit that not only secured affirmance of a $31 million judgment but also won a cross-appeal entitling our client to prejudgment interest on that judgment.

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 Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg of the U.S. Supreme Court and then-Chief Judge 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.

Appellate Arguments

  • Victim Rights Law Center v. DeVos (10:55)
    (1st Cir.) Briefed, argued, and won affirmance in appeal over a third party’s ability to intervene under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 24.
  • 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.

Additional Representative Matters

  • Bridge & Post, Inc. v. Verizon Communications, Inc.
    (Fed. Cir.) Secured dismissal of patent-infringement suit because asserted patents claimed unpatentable subject matter.
  • Washington University v. Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation
    (3d Cir.) Successfully defended trial victory for breach of patent licensing agreement and further won judgment entitling Washington University to prejudgment interest.
  • Flores v. UPS & Pocino Foods v. UPS (consolidated)
    (9th Cir.) Secured judgment for UPS on two putative RICO and breach-of-contract class actions about its Next Day Air services.
  • U.S. ex rel. DeFatta v. UPS
    (9th Cir.) Secured dismissal of False Claims Act lawsuit.
  • DynCorp International, LLC v. United States
    (Fed. Cir.) Secured Vectrus Systems’ government contract against contentions that the contract award violated the Administrative Procedure Act and the Federal Acquisition Regulation.
  • In re: SSA Bonds Antitrust Litigation
    (2d Cir.) Won dismissal of antitrust lawsuit in an appeal raising issues of antitrust law and personal jurisdiction.
  • Del Monte v. Public Utilities Commission
    (Cal. App.) Successfully defended settlement between Pacific Gas and Electric Company and the California Public Utilities Commission relating to a wildfire investigation
Show More


Unsolicited e-mails and information sent to Morrison & Foerster will not be considered confidential, may be disclosed to others pursuant to our Privacy Policy, may not receive a response, and do not create an attorney-client relationship with Morrison & Foerster. If you are not already a client of Morrison & Foerster, do not include any confidential information in this message. Also, please note that our attorneys do not seek to practice law in any jurisdiction in which they are not properly authorized to do so.