John Goerlich is a senior associate in the Strategic Motions & Appeals practice group in the Litigation Department of Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP in Washington, DC. His practice focuses on appellate and trial-level advocacy in complex commercial disputes, along with antitrust, bankruptcy, insurance, regulatory and pro bono matters.  John has significant experience litigating high-stakes matters at every level, including in the United States Supreme Court.
John previously served as a law clerk to Judge Jerry E. Smith of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and to Judge Douglas H. Ginsburg of the United States District Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.


John has advised on the following significant matters*:

  • Representing the indenture trustee for a set of notes in litigation with a solvent debtor over the debtor’s obligations to pay contract-rate interest and a prepayment premium
  • Representing one of the world’s largest insurers in connection with litigation against multiple entities relating to the opioids crisis
  • Successful certiorari-stage briefing in Health and Human Services Corporation of Marion County  v. Talevski, a case involving implied private rights of action for residents of a managed care facility
  • Winning summary judgment on behalf of a large generic pharmaceutical company against claims of unlawful exclusive dealing, and successfully defending that decision on appeal before the 10th Circuit
  • Winning, on behalf of a manufacturer of nuclear submarines and aircraft carriers, a motion to dismiss claims under the False Claims Act, and defending that decision on appeal before the 11th Circuit
  • Winning dismissal of both a securities class action and a shareholder derivative suit on behalf of a Fortune 500 provider of healthcare services, and securing a favorable settlement of those cases after briefing in the 3rd Circuit
  • Representing the independent director of a bankrupt oil and gas company and conducting an independent investigation of alleged related-party transactions prior to sale of the company’s assets
  • Winning dismissal of a securities class action alleging that an electronics manufacturer misled investors about channel stuffing
  • Authoring several merits-stage Supreme Court briefs on behalf of amici curiae

*John advised on some of these matters prior to joining Willkie.




Columbia Law School, J.D., 2016 Middlebury College, B.A. (cum laude), 2011

Bar Admissions

District of Columbia, 2020 New York, 2018

Court Admissions

United States Court of Appeals, 3rd Circuit United States Court of Appeals, 5th Circuit United States Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit United States Court of Appeals, 10th Circuit United States Court of Appeals, 11th Circuit United States District Court, District of Columbia United States Claims Court


Hon. Douglas H. Ginsburg, United States Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit Hon. Jerry E. Smith, United States Court of Appeals, 5th Circuit