Daniel Collins is a partner in the Los Angeles office of Munger, Tolles & Olson. Mr. Collins’ practice focuses on appellate litigation and complex civil litigation. He has represented a wide variety of clients in numerous appellate matters in the 9th Circuit, the U.S. Supreme Court and the California appellate courts. These appellate matters have included cases involving securities law, federal preemption, the First Amendment, civil RICO and qui tam litigation. Mr. Collins’ civil litigation practice has included the defense of significant cases under the Alien Tort Statute, including winning summary judgment in one of the first such cases filed against a corporation (a ruling now under review in the 9th Circuit). He has also represented a major tobacco company in numerous federal and state cases filed by union trust funds seeking recovery of healthcare expenses, ultimately obtaining dismissals with prejudice in all cases.
Over the course of his career, Mr. Collins has argued in numerous federal and state appellate and trial courts. In particular, he has argued 32 cases in the 9th Circuit, including two before the en banc court. Mr. Collins has also argued before the International Court of Justice in The Hague. He is a member of the California Bar and the District of Columbia Bar and is admitted to practice before the 5th, 6th, 9th and D.C. Circuits.
Between June 2001 and September 2003, Mr. Collins served as an associate deputy attorney general in the office of the deputy attorney general and the U.S. Department of Justice and during the same period he also served as the department’s chief privacy officer. While serving in the deputy attorney general’s office, Mr. Collins coordinated the department’s efforts on several major legislative and policy initiatives and testified multiple times before the Judiciary Committees of both the House and the Senate. In particular, Mr. Collins worked extensively on the Prosecutorial Remedies and Other Tools to end the Exploitation of Children Today (PROTECT) Act of 2003, which included provisions to combat child pornography and child abuse and to reform federal sentencing laws, as well as on the Identity Theft Penalty Enhancement Act. Mr. Collins also coordinated the department’s 2003 review and revision of its policies on charging of criminal offenses, plea bargaining, sentencing recommendations and sentencing appeals. He played a key role in the formulation of the civil rights’ division’s guidelines on prohibiting the use of racial profiling in federal law enforcement. Mr. Collins also worked on a number of matters relating to the war on terror, including the establishment of a terrorist screening center.
Prior to joining Munger Tolles in 1996, Mr. Collins served three-and-a-half years as an assistant U.S. attorney in the criminal division of the office of the U.S. attorney in Los Angeles, prosecuting more than 60 criminal cases, including eight jury trials. For more than half his tenure in the U.S. attorney’s office, Mr. Collins was a member of the criminal appeals section, where he supervised the preparation of more than 100 appellate briefs and argued numerous cases in the 9th Circuit.
Mr. Collins received his A.B. summa cum laude from Harvard College in 1985. While at Harvard, he was elected First Marshal of Phi Beta Kappa. He earned his J.D., with distinction, from Stanford University in 1988 and was a member of the Order of the Coif. He served as a note editor for the Stanford Law Review and was awarded the Stanford Law Review Board of Editors’ Award for outstanding editorial contributions to the Review.
After graduating law school, Mr. Collins was a law clerk for the Honorable Dorothy W. Nelson of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit (1988-1989). From 1989 until 1991, he served as an attorney adviser in the Office of Legal Counsel in the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. He clerked for Justice Antonin Scalia of the U.S. Supreme Court during the October 1991 Term (1991-1992).
From 1997 to 1998, Mr. Collins was an adjunct professor, teaching appellate advocacy, at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles.