David Boies: Wikis


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David Boies

David Boies speaking about the Microsoft antitrust case at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society
Born March 11, 1941 (1941-03-11) (age 68)
Marengo, Illinois
Nationality United States
Alma mater Northwestern University
Yale Law School
New York University School of Law
Occupation Attorney
Employer Boies, Schiller & Flexner
Spouse(s) Mary McInnis Boies

David Boies (born March 11, 1941) is a lawyer and Chairman of Boies, Schiller & Flexner.[1] He has been involved in various high-profile cases in the United States.


Early life and education

Boies was born in Sycamore, Illinois to two teachers. He has four siblings. His first job was when he was 10 years old - a paper route with 120 customers. Boies suffers from dyslexia and did not learn to read until the third grade.[2] In 1954, the family moved to California. Boies graduated from Fullerton Union High School in Fullerton, California. Boies attended the University of Redlands, received a B.S. from Northwestern University in 1964, an LL.B. magna cum laude from Yale Law School in 1966 and a LL.M. from New York University School of Law 1967; he was awarded an hononary LL.D. from the University of Redlands in 2000. He currently serves on the Board of Trustees of the National Constitution Center [1] in Philadelphia, a museum dedicated to the U.S. Constitution.

Personal life

Boies has been married three times. He married his high school sweetheart just prior to enrolling at Redlands. While at Redlands he also taught journalism at a local mental hospital and was the president of the campus Young Republicans. While studying law at Northwestern, he began an affair with the wife of one of his professors, leading to his banishment from the campus. The woman, Judith Daynard Fillman, later became his second wife, but they divorced. In 1978, he met his third wife Mary McInnis, a lawyer, while she was Assistant Director for Domestic Policy at the White House. Boies was then on a sabbatical from Cravath while working with the U.S. Senate Antitrust Subcommittee. He married Mary McInnis in 1982 and they had the last two of his six children. One of Boies's sons is also named David.

Boies owns a home at Westchester County, New York, a vineyard in Northern California, an oceangoing yacht and a large wine collection.[3]

Professional history


Law firm

Boies, Schiller & Flexner headquarters in Armonk, New York

Boies was a highly successful attorney at Cravath, Swaine & Moore. He started upon Law School graduation in 1966 and became a partner in 1973. He left Cravath in 1997 after a major client objected to his representation of the Yankees in a matter regarding the Major League Baseball case (below), even though Cravath itself had found no conflict. He left the firm within 48 hours of being informed of the client's objection and created his own firm, now known as Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP. In 2008, it was rated 48th in "overall prestige" by Vault.com, a website on legal career information.


Boies was also Chief Counsel and Staff Director of the United States Senate Antitrust Subcommittee in 1978, and served as Chief Counsel and Staff Director of the United States Senate Judiciary Committee in 1979.


Boies has taught courses at New York University Law School and Cardozo School of Law.

Notable cases

At Cravath, Boies assisted top litigator Thomas Barr in defending IBM in the 13-year antitrust cases brought by the Justice Department and many private competitors. Years later, he famously took the "other side" by representing the Justice Department in the United States v. Microsoft case. Boies won at trial and the verdict was upheld on appeal. The appellate court remanded the relief ordered (breakup of the company) back to the trial court for further proceedings. Thereafter, the George W. Bush administration settled the case. Bill Gates said Boies was "out to destroy Microsoft."[4]

Boies represented New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner in a suit against Major League Baseball. This involved an action against all the teams. The Atlanta Braves were owned by Time Warner, a longtime Cravath client. He defended CBS in the action brought by General William Westmoreland. The general abandoned his case during the trial.

Following the 2000 U.S. presidential election, he represented Vice President Al Gore in Bush v. Gore.[4] Boies defended Napster when the company was sued by the RIAA for facilitating copyright infringement. In November 2003, he represented Andrew Fastow, deposed Chief Financial Officer of Enron. Boies has been retained by the SCO Group in their pursuit of alleged infringement of their rights to the UNIX intellectual properties.

He negotiated on behalf of American Express two of the highest civil antitrust settlements ever for an individual company: $2.25 billion from Visa, and $1.8 billion from MasterCard.[5] Other cases in which he has been involved include: Pennzoil and Texaco; and the half-billion-dollar settlement of a suit brought by his art-buyer clients against the world's two leading art-auction companies, Sotheby's and Christie's; he is also representing Conrad Black (Lord Black of Crossharbour) regarding the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the Ontario Securities Commission probes of Hollinger International's disclosure of $32 million (U.S.) in unauthorized payments to Black, fellow executives, and parent company Hollinger Inc.; other current clients include Tyco International Ltd., and Qwest Communications International Inc. Boies is currently representing filmmaker Michael Moore regarding a Treasury Department investigation into Moore's trip to Cuba while filming for Sicko. On June 24, 2009, Boies joined former Solicitor General Theodore Olson, his opposing attorney in Bush v. Gore, in the lawsuit Perry v. Schwarzenegger seeking to overturn the state of California's Proposition 8 ban on gay marriage.[6]

On the 20th of August 2009 the Golden Gate Yacht Club announced that he had been retained in their ongoing dispute with Société Nautique de Genève regarding the 33rd America's Cup.[7]


  • Professorial chairs:
    • $1.5 million to the Tulane University Law School to establish the "David Boies Distinguished Chair in Law." Two of Boies's children earned their law degrees at Tulane.[8]
    • A "David Boies Professor" was established at the University of Pennsylvania and is currently held by Professor of History Sheldon Hackney. The professorship is named after David Boies's father, a high school teacher of government and economics.
    • A "David Boies Chair" at the Yale Law School was formerly held by Professor Robert Post before he became dean of the law school.
    • David and Mary Boies endowed a chair in government at the University of Redlands, the college that David Boies attended. Arthur Svenson currently holds this chair.
    • Mary and David Boies also endowed a "Maurice Greenberg Chair" at the Yale Law School.
  • David Boies and his wife, Mary, donated $5 Million to Northern Westchester Hospital, in Mount Kisco, New York. Part of an ongoing capital campaign, the Boieses' money is being used to build the hospital's new emergency room.[9]

David and Mary Boies also fund the "Mary and David Boies Fellowships" for foreign students at the Harvard Kennedy School. The Boies give an annual picnic at their home for the incoming Teach for America corps for New York City (300-500 people). They support the Central European and Eurasian Law Institute, a Prague-based institute that trains judges from newly democratized countries in Eastern Europe and the Middle East. There is a "Mary and David Boies Reading Room" at the Prague Institute.


  • "Never in a thousand years could I have predicted such a large recovery. Mr. Boies has to be the Tiger Woods of the legal profession."
--fellow lawyer Fred Furth on the Sotheby's and Christie's price fixing class-action lawsuit.[10]
  • "Few lawyers today can rival Boies's string of major triumphs... Boies's strengths include an encyclopedic mastery of the facts of a case and a chess player's sense of predicting a course of action." Cary Reich, New York Times Sunday Magazine, June 1, 1986
  • "[Maxwell] Blecher ["one of California's savviest and most experienced litigators"] was flabbergasted that this young kid knocked him out of the box, really in the first round, " said litigator and partner Thomas D. Barr to the New York Times Sunday Magazine, June 1, 1986
  • "The one talent of David's that stands out is his ability to lay out a course of action that would take into account any sort of complicated facts and develop a far-reaching scenario. It's a chess player's sense: If I do this, the following 15 things are going to happen, and if step 11 goes so, I'll do this rather than that. It's a fantastic game-playing ability." Thomas D. Barr, quoted in the New York Times Sunday Magazine, June 1, 1986
  • "No lawyer in America has tried and argued on appeal as many landmark cases in as many different areas as Mr. Boies." Citation in Milton Gould Award for Outstanding Advocacy, October 1996
  • "In court and out, he speaks a brand of English so simple and direct that he sounds like the high school teacher he once thought he would become." Time Magazine, "Get me Boies!" by Daniel Okrent, December 25, 2000
  • "The Boies memory is one of the first things cited when people discuss his strengths. What's most impressive about that gift -- focused as it may be by the intensified concentration that his dyslexia demands -- is Boies' uncanny ability to recall a key fact, legal citation or piece of contradictory testimony at moments of the most intense pressure." Time Magazine, "Get me Boies!" by Daniel Okrent, December 25, 2000

Recent headlines

David Boies has been retained to represent America's Cup challenger Golden Gate Yacht Club and Larry Ellison's sailing team, BMW/Oracle Racing, against the Swiss defender Societe Nautique Geneve and Ernesto Bertarelli's sailing team Alinghi in the latest legal dispute between the two yacht clubs (September 2009).

David Boies negotiated on behalf of American Express one of the largest antitrust settlements ever for an individual company: $2.25 billion from Visa and $1.8 billion from Master Card.

Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP recently assisted the government in obtaining a $155 Million settlement from Medco Health Solutions related to a qui tam complaint which alleged that Medco, "systematically and intentionally switched patients' prescriptions in an effort to increase the market share for certain pharmaceutical manufacturers, and thereby increased hidden rebate payments it received from pharmaceutical manufacturers."[11] In response to the settlement, Mr. Boies said, "I am very happy that lawyers from Boies, Schiller & Flexner were able to contribute to the litigation and settlement of this qui tam case, which will result in important changes in the way pharmacy managers do business by increasing their level of accountability to their patients. We are also very happy we could help the government recover the money it was erroneously billed by Medco, and that Medco agreed to execute a Corporate Integrity Agreement which will govern their conduct in the future."[12]

According to the New York Times, Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP. recently negotiated a major settlement with The American International Group on behalf of its client, C. V. Starr, a firm controlled by Maurice R. Greenberg, the former chairman and chief executive of A.I.G.[13]

Boies was portrayed by actor Ed Begley, Jr. in the 2008 film Recount.

Boies currently (as of October 16, 2008) represents Wachovia in ongoing litigation between Citigroup and Wells Fargo over the issue of which will buy Wachovia.

Following the California Supreme Court ruling on Strauss v. Horton, Boies joined with former adversary Theodore Olson from Bush v. Gore to combat Proposition 8 in federal court.[6]

Awards and honors

  • Time Magazine named Boies "Lawyer of the Year" in 2000.[14] Boies was a Runner-Up to George W. Bush as "Person of the Year."
  • Milton Gould Award for Outstanding Advocacy, October 1996
  • Lifetime Achievement Award from LD Access Foundation, October 2001
  • Outstanding Learning Disabled Achievers Award from the Lab School in Washington, DC
  • William Brennan, Jr. Award from the University of Virginia School of Law, 2002
  • Pinnacle Award, International Dyslexia Association, November 2005
  • Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers
  • Honorary Doctorate of Laws, New York Law School, 2007


In his 2001 book, prosecutor and author Vincent Bugliosi criticized Boies's abilities as a trial lawyer, arguing that Boies "wasn't forceful or eloquent at all in making his points" in Bush v. Gore. "[A]lthough he seemed to have a very good grasp of the facts, he seemed completely incapable of drawing powerful, irresistible inferences from those facts that painted his opposition into a corner".[15]

See also



Breaking Legal News Featured Author


  • Cover Story, Forbes Magazine: "David Boies Takes on Eliot Spitzer in the Fight over AIG", by Daniel Fisher, Carrie Coolidge and Neil Weinberg, May 9, 2005
  • Cover Story, New York Magazine: "The Trials of David Boies Why one Superlawyer has a Hand in Virtually All the High-profile cases of the Day. And How Bush v. Gore became the One that Got Away" by Chris Smith, February 26, 2001
  • Cover Story, New York Times Sunday Magazine, "David Boies: The Wall Street Lawyer Everyone Wants" by Cary Reich, June 1, 1986
  • Newsweek Magazine: "Microsoft's Tormentor How an affable trial lawyer with an understated canniness is driving Gates & Co. to the wall", March 1, 1999
  • Vanity Fair "1999 Hall of Fame" December 1999
  • The Financial Observer: "The Golden Boies", by Renee Kaplan, September 18, 2000
  • Vanity Fair: "The Man who ate Microsoft" by David Margolick, March 2000
  • The National Law Journal: "Lawyer of the Year", January 3, 2000
  • Esquire Magazine: "What Does $750 an Hour Get You? A week in the datebook of David Boies" by Andrew Chaikivsky, May 2003
  • Vanity Fair: excerpt from David Boies book "Courting Justice" September 2004
  • Anna Schneider-Mayerson. The Boies Family: Super-lawyer David Boies has been the go-to guy for legions of powerful people and institutions, including Al Gore, George Steinbrenner and CBS. Plus he's friends with both his ex-wives. New York Observer (Dec. 18, 2006)[2]
  • David Olive. Betrayal catches Black by surprise. Toronto Star (Nov. 24, 2003)[3]


  • Courting Justice: From New York Yankees vs. Major League Baseball to Bush vs. Gore, 1997-2000 (Miramax Books, 2004) ISBN 0-7868-6838-4
  • v. Goliath: The Trials of David Boies, by Karen Donovan (Pantheon, 2005) ISBN 0-375-42113-0

External links



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