Jaime A. Santos is a partner in Goodwin’s Supreme Court and Appellate Litigation practice and is a member of the firm’s Life Sciences Disputes group. Her work focuses on appellate matters and complex civil litigation in federal courts, including ERISA litigation, patent litigation, constitutional law, and product litigation. Ms. Santos 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. Ms. Santos 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. Ms. Santos serves on the Executive Committee of the Edward Coke Appellate Inn of Court, the first American Inn of Court dedicated to appellate practice. She is also a member of Law360’s Appellate Editorial Advisory Board.

Ms. Santos maintains an active pro bono practice. She has been counsel of record in numerous criminal, immigration, and civil rights appeals in the Supreme Court and federal appellate courts. Ms. Santos has received awards for her commitment to pro bono civil rights work from the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and from Goodwin. She also serves on the MacArthur Justice Center Supreme Court & Appellate Advisory Board, and on the National Women’s Law Center’s Leadership Advisory Council.

In addition to her pro bono practice, Ms. Santos 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, Ms. Santos 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.





  • 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 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 in state and federal courts.
  • Successfully challenged an anti-panhandling ordinance enacted by the City of Albuquerque that closed down traditional public fora to all expressive activities; presented oral argument on the City’s appeal to the Eleventh Circuit, which is still pending.
  • 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.


Ms. Santos was a recommended lawyer for Appellate by The Legal 500 in 2021 and 2022. She was selected as a Law360 Rising Star for her work on ERISA appellate issues.

Ms. Santos was also named to DCA Live’s Emerging Women Leaders in Law 2022. In 2022, she was selected as a Litigation Star by Benchmark Litigation. In 2021, Benchmark Litigation listed Ms. Santos as a Top 250 Women in Litigation; additionally, in 2021 and 2022, Benchmark Litigation selected her for their 40 & Under Hot List. In addition, Ms. Santos was recognized by Corporate Counsel’s Women, Influence & Power in Law Awards 2021 in the Thought Leadership category.

In The News









J.D., 2011
Harvard Law School
(magna cum laude)
B.A., 2005
University of San Diego
(summa cum laude)


2012-2013 U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Honorable Raymond C. Fisher
2011-2012 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
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