After more than a decade as an international development economist, Ruthanne had a dream that she was a lawyer.  Within a year she was enrolled in law school, after which she clerked for the Federal Circuit and then for the United States Supreme Court, and became an appellate litigator.

Dedication to sharp analysis and effective writing have been the constants throughout Ruthanne’s professional life, whether in her first incarnation as an economist, or her current vocation as an appellate lawyer.  Her legal experience spans the public, private, and academic clinical sectors, and includes appearances before the Supreme Court of the United States and federal and state appellate courts throughout the country.  She has particular expertise in the areas of federal jurisdiction, federal practice and procedure, public international law, federal consumer protection law, and patent and tort cases involving legal questions of first impression.

Practice and Background

Ruthanne has briefed scores of appeals in the federal courts of appeal and state courts of last resort, including dozens of briefs at the merits and certiorari stages in the Supreme Court of the United States. She has twice argued before the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, and has argued before the D.C. Circuit and the Eleventh Circuit.  She has also argued before the Maryland Court of Appeals (on a question certified by the Fourth Circuit). In addition to her work on merits and amicus briefing, Ruthanne has considerable experience litigating complex procedural and dispositive motions before various courts of appeals. She frequently counsels clients on appellate strategy before complaints are even filed, on forum selection, claim crafting, and preservation of appellate issues; and has also provided post-judgment counseling.

Ruthanne served as a law clerk for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg of the Supreme Court of the United States, and for Judge Timothy B. Dyk, of the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals.  Immediately before co-founding Deutsch Hunt PLLC, she served as a Clinical Teaching Fellow and Supervising Attorney at the Appellate Litigation Clinic and Adjunct Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center, where she supervised briefing, argued cases, regularly participated in moot courts, taught a seminar for judicial interns, and co-taught appellate advocacy and federal practice.  She maintains her connection to the Law Center through pro bono collaboration with the Appellate Litigation Clinic, participation in moot courts at Georgetown's Supreme Court Institute, and facilitating mindfulness training for law students in the Law Center’s Lawyers in Balance program.

In addition to teaching and practicing appellate advocacy in the academic setting, Ruthanne has litigated appeals in the private and public sectors.  Her private practice experience includes stints in the Supreme Court and Appellate Practice Groups of two DC law firms.  Her public service was in the Office of General Counsel of the Federal Trade Commission, where she briefed and argued appeals and dispositive legal motions, reviewed complaints, liaised with other agencies and the Office of the Solicitor General on Supreme Court matters, and counseled enforcement staff on legal issues.  While at the FTC, she received an Official Commendation for Meritorious Service for her “outstanding contributions to the Commission’s litigation efforts.”

Ruthanne studied International Relations and Economics at Yale University, and received a Ph.D. in Economics in 1994.  During and after graduate school Ruthanne worked as an international development economist, first with the World Bank, and then with the Inter-American Development Bank.  She was involved in project work as well as policy research and strategy development, primarily in the areas of poverty reduction, social sectors reform, early childhood development, and promoting gender equity and social inclusion.

Ruthanne studied law at Georgetown University Law Center, where she was Executive Articles Editor of the Georgetown Law Journal.  She graduated from the Law Center summa cum laude in 2004.  A decade later, she returned to Georgetown as a clinical teaching fellow with the Georgetown Appellate Litigation Program, and received an LL.M. in advocacy, with distinction, in 2016.

Selected Matters

Supreme Court

  • Emulex Corp. v. Varjabedian, No. 18-459 (S. Ct.): As lead counsel, filed an amicus brief on behalf of the North American Securities Administrators Association in support of Respondents, arguing that Section 14(e) of the Williams Act provides a remedy for shareholders harmed by negligently untruthful disclosures related to tender offers.

  • Jam v. International Finance Corp.,139 S. Ct. 759 (2019): As counsel for 17 member countries of the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency, filed an amicus brief in support of Respondent, arguing that the International Organizations Immunities Act confers a broad immunity from suit in light of the Act's history, the critical and distinct purposes served by international organization immunity, and the Executive Branch’s power under the Act to adjust international organization immunity.

  • Lucia v. SEC, 138 S. Ct. 2044 (2018): As lead counsel, filed an amicus brief in support of affirming the judgment below on behalf of the Association of Administrative Law Judges, arguing that SEC ALJs are not inferior officers, but any ruling otherwise should not control for ALJs in other agencies, and that ALJ tenure protections are constitutional

  • South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc., 138 S. Ct. 2080 (2018): As lead counsel, filed an amicus brief in support of neither party on behalf of the National Association of Certified Service Providers and the Software & Information Industry Association, explaining that a vibrant market provides remote retailers with an array of easy and affordable software options for automatically calculating and remitting sales tax.

  • Hall v. Hall, 138 S. Ct. 1118 (2018): As lead counsel, filed an amicus brief in support of Respondents on behalf of a group of retired U.S. District Judges, arguing that partial appeals in fully-consolidated cases should be allowed only when certified by the district court.

  • Nies v. Town of Emerald Isle, No. 16-1305: As lead counsel, filed a successful brief in opposition to a petition for certiorari filed by the Pacific Legal Foundation. The petition claimed that public use of North Carolina beaches was a taking despite historic and long-standing public use of the beaches.

  • Patchak v. Zinke, 138 S. Ct. 897 (2018): As lead counsel, filed an amicus brief in support of Respondents on behalf of a group of federal courts and federal Indian law scholars, arguing that an act taking a particular parcel into trust and withdrawing jurisdiction over certain claims related to that parcel does not violate Article III and is an example of a common type of tribe-specific legislation.

  • Class v. United States, 138 S. Ct. 798 (2018): Research and briefing as co-counsel for amicus brief on behalf of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the American Civil Liberties Union in support of Petitioner, arguing that an unconditional plea does not waive the right to raise a constitutional challenge to statute of conviction on appeal.

  • California Public Employees' Retirement Sys. v. ANZ Securities Inc., 137 S. Ct. 2042 (2017): Lead counsel for an amicus brief on behalf of Current and Former Directors of Publicly Traded Companies in support of Petitioner, arguing that the filing of a putative class action should satisfy the three-year time limit for putative class members in certain securities class actions, because otherwise the result would be a multiplicity of actions and more litigation that increases complexity for defendants.

  • Endrew F. v. Douglas County School Board, 137 S. Ct. 988 (2017): As lead counsel, filed an amicus brief on behalf of AASA, the School Superintendents Association; CASE, the Council of Administrators of Special Education; and six other educational organizations in support of Respondent.

  • Sebelius v. Auburn Regional Medical Center, 133 S. Ct. 817 (2013): Co-counsel and principal drafter of Respondents’ merits brief in case determining that the 180-day time limit for filing appeals to the Provider Reimbursement Review Board was not jurisdictional, yet also not subject to traditional equitable tolling.

  • United States v. Windsor, 133 S. Ct. 2675 (2013): Research, briefing, and argument support as co-counsel to court-appointed amica curiae, to present arguments against Article III jurisdiction given the party agreement between the United States and respondent.

  • Sprint Communications Co., L.P. v. Jacobs, 134 S. Ct. 584 (2013): Principal drafter of amicus brief supporting petitioner in the ultimately prevailing position that state regulatory proceedings to resolve legal questions under the Telecommunications Act of 1996 did not require Younger abstention.

  • Limelight Networks, Inc. v. Akamai Technologies, Inc., 134 S. Ct. 2111 (2014): Contributed to amicus briefing at both certiorari and merits stages in support of the ultimately prevailing position that a defendant is not liable for inducing patent infringement under 35 U.S.C. § 271(b) when no one has directly infringed a patent under Section 217(a) or any other statutory provision.

  • Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, 133 S. Ct. 2411 (2013): Lead Counsel and principal brief drafter of amicus brief submitted by Former Commissioners and General Counsel of the Federal Communications Commission, and the Minority Media Telecommunications Counsel, arguing that greater diversity in higher education is essential to a robust public dialogue, and that the University of Texas’s faithful adherence to Grutter’s core holding be affirmed.

  • Octane Fitness, LLC v. Icon Health & Fitness, Inc., 134 S. Ct. 1749 (2014): Principal drafter of amicus brief submitted by Fortune 500 companies arguing for the ultimately prevailing position that equitable discretion should guide the award of attorneys’ fees under 35 U.S.C. § 285, and that the standard should apply even-handedly to plaintiffs and defendants alike in patent-infringement actions.

  • Bowman v. Monsanto Co., 133 S. Ct. 1761 (2013): Principal brief drafter of amicus brief on behalf of a trade association arguing in favor of the ultimately-prevailing position that patent exhaustion did not permit a farmer to reproduce patented seeds through planting and harvesting without the patent holder’s permission.

  • Comcast Corp. v. Behrend, 133 S. Ct. 1426 (2013): member of team that prepared an amicus brief of economists in support of neither party, explaining how available economic methods provide a scientifically sound method for determining, through admissible evidence, whether damages to putative class members can be measured on a class-wide basis.

Federal Courts of Appeals

  • Johnson v. Interstate Management LLC, 849 F.3d 1093 (D.C. Cir. 2017): Supervised briefing and presented oral argument for Georgetown University Appellate Litigation Program, appointed as amicus to argue that § 11(c) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act of 1970 contains an implied right of action for persons retaliated against for filing OSHA complaints, and (after grant of a motion for reconsideration of a partial summary affirmance) that genuine issues defeat summary judgment on the plaintiff’s EEOC retaliation claim.

  • Putney v. Likin, 4th Cir. No. 14-6882 (4th Cir. July 14, 2016): Supervised briefing and presented oral argument for Georgetown University Appellate Litigation Program, and successfully obtained vacatur of the district court’s summary judgment dismissal, allowing Mr. Putney to further pursue his § 1983 action alleging that his Eighth Amendment rights were violated by prison officials’ intentional and malicious deprivation of a mattress for more than four months with no legitimate explanation.

  • Kelsey v. Pope, 809 F.3d 849 (6th Cir. 2016): Lead counsel for amicus brief submitted by National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, in support of respondent in a habeas corpus case brought under 25 U.S.C. § 1303, arguing that the Indian Tribal Court’s rewriting of its criminal code to justify its assertion of jurisdiction violated the Indian Civil Rights Act and the Ex Post Facto Clause.

  • Incumaa v. Stirling, 791 F.3d 517 (4th Cir. 2015): Supervising attorney for Georgetown University Appellate Litigation Program, which on appointment by the court, obtained reversal of a summary judgment dismissal of a procedural due process claim brought by a prisoner who had been housed in solitary confinement for twenty years. After this successful appeal, the case settled, and Mr. Incumaa was released to the general population.

  • Antonio v. SSA Sec., Inc., 749 F.3d 227 (4th Cir. 2014): Lead counsel, briefed and argued appeal in a Maryland tort action, resulting in certification of a statutory question of first impression to the Maryland Court of Appeals.

  • FTC v. Shomers, 463 F. App’x 828 (11th Cir. 2012): Lead counsel, successfully briefed and argued an interpleader action on behalf of the FTC in an insurance dispute, where the FTC had been substituted for the last policy beneficiary by virtue of a consent decree in another action.

  • FTC v. Magazine Solutions, LLC, 432 F. App’x 155 (3d Cir. 2011): Lead counsel, in a case of first impression in the Third Circuit, successfully argued on behalf of the FTC that the agency was entitled to restitution, up to gross revenues received from consumers based on deceptive practices, as ancilliary equitable relief under § 13(b) of the Federal Trade Commission Act.

  • FTC v. American Entertainment Distributors, Inc., 433 F. App’x 813 (2011): Lead counsel for the FTC in a case holding that one defendant’s withdrawal of support for consent decree did not require district court to reject decree, and no hearing was necessary for the court to enter final judgment.

  • St. Joseph Abbey v. Castille, 712 F.3d 214 (5th Cir. 2013): Lead counsel for Federal Trade Commission on amicus brief arguing that the Louisiana Embalming and Funeral Directors Act was anticompetitive and inconsistent with the FTC’s Funeral Rule, in a case where the Fifth Circuit affirmed the lower court’s ruling that the Louisiana statute violated the Equal Protection Clause.

  • Canadian Lumber Trade Alliance v. United States, 517 F.3d 1319 (Fed. Cir. 2008): Principal brief writer on behalf of Government of Canada in case involving Article III and prudential standing issues, as well as statutory and international law questions of first impression, in successful challenge to Court of International Trade ruling, where the Federal Circuit held that the Byrd Amendment violated NAFTA.

State Appellate Courts

  • R.T. Vanderbilt v. Galliher, 98 A.3d 122 (Del. 2014): Principal brief writer on behalf of corporation that successfully obtained a new trial after a jury verdict in a personal injury and wrongful death case, through challenging the jury instructions and the district court’s refusal to grant a new trial after improperly admitted testimony.

  • Antonio v. SSA, Security, Inc. 110 A.2d 654 (Md. 2014): Lead counsel, briefed and argued statutory question of first impression certified by the Fourth Circuit about whether § 9-501 of the Maryland Security Guards Act codified the common law doctrine of respondeat superior or contemplated broader liability, in a case where homebuyers sued the security agency who employed security guards responsible for arson.

Professional Activities:

Barrister, Edward Coke Appellate Inn of Court

Member, Rules Advisory Committee of the United State Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit

Trained Facilitator, Lawyers in Balance Program, Georgetown University Law Center

Selected Presentations and Publications

Panelist, Conference, Supreme Court IP Review, Chicago-Kent College of Law (2018)

Instructor, CLE, Framing and Arguing Your Case in the Supreme Court: Tips for Certiorari and Oral Arugment, Lawline (2017)

Ruthanne M. Deutsch, Federalizing Retroactivity Rules: The Unrealized Promise of Danforth v. Minnesota and the Unmet Obligation of State Courts to Vindicate Federal Constitutional Rights, 44 Florida State University Law Review 53 (2017).

Ruthanne M. Deutsch, Suing State-Sponsors of Terrorism Under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act: Giving Life to the Jurisdictional Grant After Cicippio-Puleo, 38 The International Lawyer 891 (2005).

Ruthanne M. Deutsch et al., Working Within Confines: Occupational Segregation by Sex for Three Latin American Countries, 4 ICFAI Journal of Applied Economics 50 (2005).

Mayra Buvinic, Jacqueline Mazza with Ruthanne M. Deutsch (eds.), Social Inclusion and Economic Development in Latin America (2006).

Ruthanne M. Deutsch, Making the Invisible Visible: Collecting Data on Race in Latin America, Regional Preparatory Conference of the Americas for the United Nations World Conference Against Racism (2000).

Ruthanne M. Deutsch et al., An Economic Interpretation of Targeting Systems for Social Programs: The Case of Colombia’s SISBEN (1999), Research Working Paper, available at

Ruthanne M. Deutsch, Does Child Care Pay? Labor Force Participation and Earnings Effects of Access to Child Care in the Favelas of Rio de Janeiro, IDB, OCE Working Paper No. 384 (1998).

Ruthanne M. Deutsch, Bridging the Archipelago: Cities and Regional Economies in Brazil, 1870-1920, 56 Journal of Economic History 461 (1996).

motophoto shot

T: (202) 868-6924


  • LL.M. in Advocacy, Georgetown University Law Center, with distinction, 2016

  • J.D., Georgetown University Law Center, summa cum laude, 2004

  • Ph.D., Economics, Yale University, 1994

  • M.Phil., Economics, Yale University, 1993

  • M.A., Economics, Yale University, 1993

  • M.A., International Relations, Yale University, 1993

  • B.A., Economics, Amherst College, cum laude, 1983


  • U.S. Supreme Court (Ginsburg, J., 2007-2008)

  • Federal Circuit Court of Appeals (Dyk, J., 2004-2005)

Bar Memberships:

Admitted to practice in the District of Columbia and Maryland, and before the United States Supreme Court, and the United States Courts of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, Federal Circuit, and Second, Fourth, Sixth, and Ninth Circuits.