Donald B. Ayer

Senior Lecturing Fellow


Mr. Ayer focuses on constitutional, statutory, and regulatory litigation in trial and appellate courts, and in appellate litigation. His experience covers subject areas ranging from criminal appeals, business torts, and to a wide range of constitutional and technical statutory and regulatory issues. He is Jones Day’s most experienced Supreme Court lawyer, with 17 arguments before the Court. Mr. Ayer has argued more than 60 other appeals, and has been lead counsel in 20 federal court jury trials. For the past four years, he has taught a course in Supreme Court advocacy at Georgetown University Law Center.

Prior to his association with Jones Day, he served as the Deputy Attorney General of the United States, as the Principal Deputy Solicitor General, and also as the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of California. Before that he clerked for Judge Malcolm Wilkey of the D.C. Circuit, and then-Justice William Rehnquist.

He has served as president of the Edward Coke Appellate Inn of Court in Washington, DC, and was recently named president-elect of the American Academy of Trial Lawyers. He is listed in The Best Lawyers in America (appellate practice), Who’s Who in America, and Who’s Who in the World. Mr. Ayer is a member of the ALI, a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, and serves on the advisory boards of the Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia, the National Parks Conservation Association, the NYU Institute of Judicial Administration, the Georgetown Law School Supreme Court Institute, and the Publications Committee of the Supreme Court Historical Society. He is admitted to practice in the District of Columbia.