Climenko Fellow and Lecturer on Law
Harvard Law School
Ian Samuel’s areas of scholarly interest focus on cyberlaw, especially as it intersects with criminal law, security, and intellectual property. He is the author of Warrantless Location Tracking, 83 N.Y.U. L. Rev. 1324 (2008), which evaluated the circumstances under which it ought to be legal for the government to track a person’s movements using her cell phone. He is currently working on papers theorizing an alternative model of the Fourth Amendment’s scope, the government’s power to exploit software vulnerabilities when conducting investigations, and the degree of assistance owed by innocent third parties in criminal investigations. While in private practice, he represented the email provider Lavabit LLC (which attained notoriety because one of its customers was Edward Snowden), in the company’s challenge to the government’s demand for its service-wide private encryption keys.
Ian formerly served in the United States Department of Justice, in the Office of the Solicitor General and on the appellate staff of the Civil Division. He was lead counsel in Lowenstein v. Department of Homeland Security, 626 F.3d 678 (2d Cir. 2010), a FOIA case concerning “Operation Front Line”—a program designed to identify and prevent terrorist attacks targeting the 2004 presidential election and inauguration. He was also lead counsel in Robinson v. Napolitano, 689 F.3d 888 (8th Cir. 2012), which concerned the scope of protection for security information about the nation’s aviation infrastructure. He also argued several cases concerning the constitutionality of the federal government’s civil-commitment program, see United States v. Timms, 664 F.3d 436 (4th Cir. 2012), and worked on the federal government’s successful defense of the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act as well as its preemption challenge to Arizona’s immigration statute.
Following his government service, Ian joined the appellate litigation practice at Jones Day. While there, he represented clients in a wide variety of complex matters, generally in the federal courts. He represented former Governor Bob McDonnell in his criminal prosecution over alleged improper influence, see United States v. McDonnell, 792 F.3d 478 (4th Cir. 2015); the telecommunications company Garmin in a case concerning the allocation of radio spectrum in the United States, see Harbinger Capital Partners LLC v. Deere & Co., No. 15-408 (2d Cir. 2015); and the American Hospital Association in a Supreme Court case concerning the usefulness and legality of all-payer claims databases, which aggregate a variety of health data to generate public policy insights, see Gobeille v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Co., 136 S. Ct. 936 (2016). He also maintained an active pro bono practice, including a successful appeal by a federal prisoner in an excessive-force case, see Barnett v. Norman, 782 F.3d 417 (9th Cir. 2015).
Ian received his B.S. in computer science from Truman State University, and his J.D. summa cum laude from New York University School of Law, where he was a Furman Scholar, Articles Editor of the New York University Law Review, and won the Sommer Memorial Prize for scholarship and character. After law school, he clerked for Judge Alex Kozinski of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and for Justice Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court of the United States.