- J.D.The University of Texas School of Lawwith honors1991
- B.A.College of William and MaryPhi Beta Kappa1985
Laura Ferguson specializes in appellate litigation and resolving complex litigation matters through dispositive motions. She is skilled at finding the winning argument and crafting clear, readable, accurate, persuasive briefs that get results for her clients. In the past year, Ms. Ferguson has secured the dismissal of four separate litigation matters, either on motions to dismiss or motions for summary judgment. In the past five years, as lead appellate counsel, Ms. Ferguson has won seven appeals, including a unanimous decision from the Supreme Court. She also regularly submits amicus briefs at the Supreme Court and Courts of Appeals on behalf of clients on a wide range of issues.
With 20 years of experience as a litigator, Ms. Ferguson has extensive experience in all aspects of civil litigation, including managing the fact and expert discovery process (including foreign discovery) and preparing the case for trial. In managing the discovery process, her approach is to stay focused on the issues that matter to her client, being strategic in when to bring issues to the court and to avoid being drawn into costly, needless sparring with opposing counsel. Her representations often involve high stakes, multi-year litigation involving issues of first impression. Her engagements have spanned a variety of subject areas, including the creditability of foreign taxes, whether non-sovereign foreign governmental organizations can be sued under various human rights statutes, the extra-territorial reach of U.S. patent laws, the constitutionality of USDA administrative claims resolution process and the scope of ERISA preemption.
- Mohamad v. Palestinian Authority, 132 S. Ct. 1702 (2012) (won unanimous decision holding that corporations and other organizational defendants cannot be sued for international human rights violations under the Torture Victim Protection Act).
- Research in Motion, Ltd. v. NTP, Inc., No. 05-763 (S. Ct.) (amicus brief for Government of Canada in BlackBerry patent infringement suit on scope of extraterritorial application of U.S. patent laws).
- Shafi v. Palestinian Authority, 642 F.3d 1088 (DC Cir. 2011) (secured affirmance of dismissal of Alien Tort Statute lawsuit for failure to satisfy state action requirement).
- Estate of Ahuva Amergi v. Palestinian Authority, 611 F.3d 1350 (11th Cir. 2010) (secured affirmance of dismissal of Alien Tort Statute lawsuit for failure to establish violation of the law of nations).
- Gilmore v. Palestinian Interim Self-Government Auth., No. 01-853, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 102093 (D.DC July 28, 2014) (won motion for summary judgment in suit brought under U.S. Anti-Terrorism Act).
Employee Benefits Litigation
- Empire HealthChoice Assurance, Inc. v. McVeigh, 126 S. Ct. 2121, 165 L. Ed.2d 131 (2006) (represented petitioners in case addressing whether federal courts have federal question jurisdiction over reimbursement claims brought by carriers under the Federal Employees Health Benefits Act).
- Blue Cross-Blue Shield of Michigan v. Hi-Lex Controls, Inc., No. 14-168 (S. Ct.) (cert-stage amicus brief for Blue Cross Blue Shield Association on compensation of third-party ERISA plan administrators).
- Fossen v. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana, Inc., No. 11-1280 (S. Ct.) (opposition to cross-petition on whether state HIPAA statute can be construed more broadly than federal HIPAA statute).
- California Physicians' Service v. Harlick, No. 12-457 (S. Ct.) (cert-stage amicus brief for Blue Cross Blue Shield Association on issue of ERISA plan interpretation).
- Blue Cross and Blue Shield Health Care Plan of Georgia, Inc. v. Gunter, No. 07-10956-EE (11th Cir.) (Whether federal courts have federal question jurisdiction over Federal Employees Health Benefits Act (FEHBA) reimbursement claims).
- Brubaker v. Metropolitan Life Ins. Co., 2007 U.S. App. LEXIS 8209 (DC Cir. Apr. 10, 2007) (secured affirmance of district court’s grant of summary judgment in client’s favor on issue of ERISA plan interpretation).
- Sereboff v. Mid Atlantic Medical Services, Inc., No. 05-260 (S. Ct.) (amicus brief for the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association on issue of ERISA subrogation).
- Louisiana Health Service & Indemnity Co. v. Rapides Healthcare System, No. 04-31114 (5th Cir.) (amicus brief for the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association on ERISA preemption issue).
Jurisdiction and Procedure
- Cantu v. United States, No. 13-5044, 565 Fed. Appx. 7; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 12886 (DC Cir. 2014) (won reversal of dismissal for lack of standing in Equal Protection Clause case).
- Estate of Klieman v. Palestinian Auth., No. 04-1173, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 25167 (D.DC Mar. 3, 2015) (won dismissal for lack of personal jurisdiction on a motion for reconsideration, for a case that had been pending for ten years).
- Safra v. Palestinian Auth., No. 14-669, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 16492 (D.DC Feb. 11, 2015) (won motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction).
- Livnat v. Palestinian Auth., No. 14-668, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 16522 (D.DC Feb. 11, 2015) (won motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction).
- Gilmore v. Palestinian Interim Self-Government Auth., No. 10-7003, 2010 U.S. App. LEXIS 13984 (DC Cir. July 7, 2010) (successfully dismissed appeal for lack of appellate jurisdiction).
- Ungar v. Palestine Liberation Organization, 599 F.3d 79 (1st Cir. 2010) (obtained reversal of district court decision denying Rule 60(b)(6) relief from $116 million final default judgment).
- Saperstein v. Palestinian Authority, No. 07-11303-CC, 2007 U.S. App. LEXIS 20632 (11th Cir. Oct. 17, 2007); Saperstein v. Palestinian Authority, No. 10-15262-CC (11th Cir. Sept. 29, 2011) (in both cases secured dismissal for lack of appellate jurisdiction).
- Black & Decker Corp. v. United States, 436 F.3d 431 (4th Cir. 2006) (secured affirmance of motion for summary judgment on statutory basis for tax treatment of contingent liability transaction; remanded on economic substance).
- Long-Term Capital Holdings, L.P. v. United States, 150 Fed. Appx. 40 (2d Cir. 2005) (appeal of district court’s imposition of 40 percent gross valuation misstatement penalty and rejection of taxpayer’s IRC Section 6664 reasonable cause and good faith defense).
- Amoco Corp. v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo. 1996-159 (1996), aff’d, 138 F.3d 1139 (7th Cir. 1998) (secured affirmance of Tax Court decision on U.S. creditability of Egyptian income taxes paid on U.S. oil company’s behalf by the Egyptian National Oil Company pursuant to a production sharing agreement).
- Black & Decker Corp. v. United States, 92 A.F.T.R. 2d 2003-6426 (D. Md. 2003) (obtained ruling that corporate taxpayer was entitled to non-public, unredacted field service advice memo containing IRS legal analysis).
- Black & Decker Corp. v. United States, 219 F.R.D. 87 (D. Md. 2003) (obtained ruling upholding work product protection for documents prepared by taxpayer’s accounting firm and ruling that disclosure of opinion letter did not result in a waiver).
- ExxonMobil Corp. v. Commissioner, 114 T.C. 293 (2000) (member of trial team litigating whether taxpayer may accrue future costs of dismantling oil production structures and equipment at Prudhoe Bay).
- Exxon Corp. v. Commissioner, 113 T.C. 338 (1999) (obtained ruling oil company is entitled to U.S. foreign tax credits for United Kingdom’s Petroleum Revenue Tax is a creditable tax under Section 901 or Section 903; taxpayer won).
Appellate Criminal Defense Litigation
- United States v. Coughlin, No. 11-3113 (DC Cir.) (amicus brief for NACDL on the evidentiary component of double jeopardy issue preclusion).
- Obama v. Hentif, No. 12-5314 (DC Cir.) (amicus brief for NACDL on Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 4(a)(7)).
- Ali v. Reilly, No. 04-5178 (DC Cir.) (Pro bono brief as court-appointed amicus curiae in support of pro se prisoner appellant (habeas exclusivity and venue). Essentially a merits brief; government conceded after receiving the brief).
- Legal 500: Tax: International Tax, 2019
- Legal 500: Tax: Tax – Contentious, 2019
- Member, William. B. Bryant American Inn of Court
District of Columbia
Miller & Chevalier is pleased to announce that the firm was recognized as a "Gold Level Donor" to the DC Bar's Raising the Bar campaign.
Washington, DC, October 26, 2018 – Miller & Chevalier Chartered proudly announces that the firm was named as one of the top 30 investigations practices globally in the Glob
Miller & Chevalier is pleased to announce that the firm was one of only five law firms in Washington, DC, to increase its commitment level to the D.C. Bar's Raising the Bar campaign.
Washington, DC, October 27, 2017 – Miller & Chevalier Chartered proudly announces that the firm was named as one of the top 30 investigations practices globally in the Glob
Washington, DC, May 12, 2017 – Miller & Chevalier is pleased to announce that the firm was named the 2017 Pro Bono Firm of the Year by the D.C. Bar.
In this article, Amelia Hairston-Porter and Laura Ferguson discuss SEC v Straub, a September 2016 Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) civil enforcement action.
In a closely watched case, a district court last week quashed an administrative summons seeking disclosure of a company’s tax accrual workpapers.
LMSB has announced its Industry Issue Focus ("IIF") program as part of its effort to coordinate its approach to developing strategic issues for enforcement and potential litigation.
Today, the Federal Circuit reversed and remanded the decision of the Court of Federal Claims in Coltec Industries, Inc. v.