Jaime A. Santos is a partner in Goodwin’s Appellate and Supreme Court Litigation practice and is a member of the firm’s ERISA Litigation and Life Sciences Disputes groups. Her work in appellate litigation, ERISA litigation, and DEI issues have led to her being recognized as a D.C. Rising Star by the National Law Journal, a Rising Star by Law360, and a Top 250 Women in Litigation by Benchmark Litigation. She has also received Corporate Counsel’s Women, Influence & Power in Law Award and DCA Live’s Emerging Women Leader Award. Jaime’s work focuses on appellate matters and complex civil litigation in federal courts, including ERISA litigation, patent litigation, constitutional law, and product litigation. She has argued before six of the thirteen federal appellate courts, as well as in state and federal trial courts, and she has authored or co-authored dozens of briefs filed in the Supreme Court at the cert or merits stages. Jaime also regularly speaks publicly about matters affecting the Supreme Court, as well as diversity and bias within the legal profession; she previously co-hosted the Supreme Court podcast Strict Scrutiny and has been a guest on numerous podcasts and programs, including NPR’s All Things Considered, the National Constitution Center’s podcast We the People, and Bloomberg’s podcast Cases and Controversies. Jaime has served on the Executive Committee of the Edward Coke Appellate Inn of Court (the first American Inn of Court dedicated to appellate practice), on the MacArthur Justice Center Supreme Court & Appellate Advisory Board, on the National Women’s Law Center’s Leadership Advisory Council, and as an appellate mentor for The Appellate Project—an organization committed to empowering law students of color to thrive in the appellate field. She is also a member of Law360’s Appellate Editorial Advisory Board.
Jaime maintains an active pro bono practice and was the 2023 winner of Robert B. Fraser Award, which Goodwin presents annually to one partner who has provided significant service to pro bono clients. She has been counsel of record in numerous criminal, immigration, and civil rights appeals in the Supreme Court and federal appellate courts. Jaime has received awards for her commitment to pro bono civil rights work from the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and from Goodwin.
In addition to her pro bono practice, Jaime has been a thought leader in preventing and addressing bias and harassment in the legal profession. She speaks at conferences across the country, has testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee and Judicial Conference of the United States, and has published several articles on the topic. Since January 2018, she has advised numerous state and federal courts on improving the policies and processes governing inappropriate conduct in the workplace.
Before joining Goodwin in 2013, Jaime served as a law clerk to the Honorable George H. King of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, and to the Honorable Raymond C. Fisher of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. In law school, she was a supervising editor for the Harvard Law Review.
- Successfully petitioned the Second Circuit for interlocutory review of a decision certifying a nationwide class of 8,000 retirement plans and obtained vacatur of that decision on behalf of the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America. Served as lead counsel on appeal and argued the case before the Second Circuit.
- Successfully represented The Boeing Company in a Fifth Circuit consumer class action appeal regarding a certified class of more than 200 million travelers. The Fifth Circuit reversed class certification and ordered the district court to dismiss the case for lack of standing.
- Defended a 401(k) plan sponsor in an ERISA case involving an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) on behalf of a public company. Obtained dismissal at the pleading stage in the district court and successfully presented oral argument to defend that favorable decision in the Second Circuit.
- Co-authored briefs and presented oral argument in the Third Circuit and California Court of Appeal regarding preemption issues under the Supreme Court’s decisions in PLIVA, Inc. v. Mensing, 564 U.S. 604 (2011), and Buckman Co. v. Plaintiffs’ Legal Committee, 531 U.S. 341 (2001), on behalf of a leading pharmaceutical manufacturer.
- Successfully challenged an anti-panhandling ordinance enacted by the City of Albuquerque that closed down traditional public fora to all expressive activities. Successfully argued the motion for summary judgment in the district court and the Tenth Circuit appeal successfully defending that victory.
- Co-authored brief and contributed to oral argument preparation in Washington v. United States, 138 S. Ct. 1832 (2018) (Mem.), a Supreme Court case about fishing rights under 19th century Indian treaties.
- Contributed to briefing and oral argument preparation in Supreme Court litigation regarding the standard of review of patent claim construction. Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. v. Sandoz, Inc., 135 S. Ct. 831. The Supreme Court agreed with Teva by a vote of 7-2 that factual issues relevant to claim construction decisions are reviewed for clear error.
- Represented criminal defendants in appeals before the Fourth and Seventh Circuits regarding motions to suppress evidence.
- Successfully represented financial institutions in appeals before the Fifth and Ninth Circuits involving statute-of-limitations issues and foreclosure requirements.
- Presented oral argument and successfully persuaded the Ninth Circuit in two appeals to reverse dismissal of complaints filed by an inmate under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, and to reverse decisions denying the appointment of pro bono counsel.
- Co-authored briefs in the Federal Circuit on behalf of a leading pharmaceutical manufacturer regarding causation issues in induced-infringement appeal that is currently pending.
- Co-authored motion for judgment on the pleadings on behalf of an investment management services corporation in a securities action. Successfully obtained dismissal of all claims asserted against our client.
- Represents 401(k) plan sponsor in putative class actions alleging breaches of ERISA’s fiduciary duties and violations of ERISA’s prohibited-transaction provisions based on the selection and monitoring of 401(k) plan investment options.
- Representing 401(k) and 403(b) plan service providers in putative class actions challenging products and services provided to ERISA plan participants.
- Co-authored numerous petitions for certiorari filed in the Supreme Court in ERISA, patent, product-litigation, criminal, and civil-rights cases.
- Co-authored dozens of amicus briefs in the Supreme Court and federal appellate courts concerning patent, ERISA, securities, civil-rights, criminal-justice, and environmental issues.
- Part of a team that monitored the domestic ethics program of one of the largest publicly traded companies in the United States, including the preparation of compliance and improvement reports.
Harvard Law School
University of San Diego
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Honorable Raymond C. Fisher
U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, Honorable George H. King
- District of Columbia
- U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
- U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
- U.S. Supreme Court
Recognition & Awards
Jaime has been recognized as an “Up and Coming” leader in ERISA litigation by Chambers USA in 2023. She was also recognized by Legal 500 US for her work in Appellate and ERISA litigation.
Jaime has received numerous awards for her work on appellate cases, ERISA cases, and her thought leadership regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion. Benchmark Litigation has named Jaime a Litigation Star and one of the Top 250 Women in Litigation list; they have also named her to the 40 & Under Hot List. In 2022, she was named a DC Rising Star by the National Law Journal and a Law360 Rising Star; she also received DCA Live’s Emerging Women Leaders in Law award. In 2021, Jaime was recognized by Corporate Counsel’s Women, Influence & Power in Law Awards 2021 in the Thought Leadership category. She has also been recognized by The Best Lawyers in America Best Lawyers for her work in Litigation – ERISA.
Jaime's recent publications include:
- Co-Author, “In Burke v. Boeing, Seventh Circuit Aptly Rejects ESOP Beneficiaries’ Stock-Drop Insider Claims,” Washington Legal Foundation November 11, 2022
- Co-Author, “COVID Eviction Bans May not Continue to Survive in Court,” Law360, April 30, 2021
- Author, “When Justice Behaves Unjustly: Addressing Sexual Harassment in the Judiciary,” American Judges' Association: Court Review, March 14, 2019
- Co-Author, “Next Steps in the Federal Judiciary’s #MeToo Moment,” The National Law Journal, January 30, 2018
Jaime’s recent speaking engagements include:
- Speaker, “Fair Use Transformed? Lessons from Google v. Oracle and Warhol Foundation v. Goldsmith,” USC Gould School of Law's 2023 Intellectual Property Institute, March 21, 2023
- Guest, “The October Term 2022 Preview,” SCOTUSTalk, September 26, 2022
- Speaker, “Dealing with Dobbs: Considerations for Employers,” Goodwin Webinar, September 14, 2022
- Guest, “Supreme Court Calm Before the Storm,” Bloomberg's Court Chatter, June 17, 2022
- Speaker, “Fiduciary Litigation: A Double-Edged Sword,” DCIIA SPARK 2022 Public Policy Forum, June 9, 2022
- Guest, “What’s Left for Supreme Court,” Bloomberg Law “Cases and Controversies” Podcast, May 27, 2022
- Speaker, “ERISA Litigation/Appellate Supreme Court Ruling on Hughes V. Northwestern,” Goodwin Webinar, January 31, 2022
- Speaker, “A Post-Pandemic Future: Creating an Inclusive Hybrid Workplace,” 2022 Goodwin CLE Day, January 19, 2022
- Speaker, “The U.S. Supreme Court’s 2021–2022 Term: What Company Counsel — and Citizens — Need to Know,” Goodwin Webinar, September 29, 2021
- Moderator, “Remembering RBG: A Celebration of the Life & Legacy of Ruth Bader Ginsburg,” Goodwin Webinar, March 16, 2021
- Speaker, “Supreme Court Litigator Roundtable: Dissecting Recent, Winning (and Losing) Arguments — and the Impact on Future Litigation Outcomes,” ACI's 18th Annual ERISA Litigation Conference, November 18, 2020
- Guest, “The Ford Personal Jurisdiction Cases: A Preview to Oral Argument in the Supreme Court,” ABA’s Sound Advice Podcast, September 18, 2020
- Speaker, “Sexual Harassment in TV and Film,” 2020 Goodwin CLE Day, January 27, 2020
- Speaker, “Supreme Court Practitioners Panel,” 17th National Forum on ERISA Litigation, November 19, 2019