William R. Peterson provides appellate representation through all stages of the state and federal litigation process, from working closely with trial teams on pretrial formulation of appellate strategy, complex briefing, preservation of error, and preparation of jury charges, through briefing and oral argument in courts of appeals. William has argued before numerous state and federal courts of appeals, including the Supreme Court of the United States.
A former software engineer with an engineering degree from the California Institute of Technology, William is a member of the intellectual property practice and regularly argues patent appeals before the US Court of the Appeals for the Federal Circuit. For one of his Federal Circuit appellate victories, he (along with two other Morgan Lewis partners) was recognized as litigator of the week by Law.com.
William is board certified in civil appellate law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Before entering private practice, he served as a law clerk to Judge Edith Jones of the U S Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and to Justice Clarence Thomas of the Supreme Court. A recent mandamus petition that he briefed and argued to the Fifth Circuit on a novel issue of employment law led to a decision that was recognized by another firm as “one of the most significant Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) appellate decisions in recent years."
William serves as a trustee for the American Inns of Court Foundation. His association with the Inns includes active membership in the Garland R. Walker American Inn of Court, receipt of the Temple Bar Scholarship in 2011, and subsequent participation on the Temple Bar Scholar selection committee. William also maintains an active pro bono practice and has represented clients through the Houston Volunteer Lawyers Program and participated in the Houston Volunteer Prosecutor Program.
William regularly publishes papers and speaks at continuing legal education events. He also serves as an adjunct professor at the University of Houston Law Center, where he co-teaches “Origins of the Federal Constitution.”
Life Sciences Star, Intellectual Property, LMG Life Sciences (2022)
Litigation Practitioner of the Year, Texas, Managing Intellectual Property (2021)
Recognized, IP Patent Star – Texas, Managing Intellectual Property (2021, 2022)
Member, Practice Group of the Year, Intellectual Property, Law360 (2019)
Member, Litigation Department of the Year–Intellectual Property, The American Lawyer (2019)
Up-and-Coming, Litigation: Appellate, Texas, Chambers USA (2021)
Ranked, Litigation: Appellate, Texas, Chambers USA (2020, 2022)
Litigator of the Week, Law.com (2019)
Recognized, Appellate Practice, Houston, The Best Lawyers in America (2020–2023)
Lawyer On the Rise, Texas Lawyer (2019)
Recommended, Intellectual property: Patents: litigation (full coverage), The Legal 500 US (2021)
Recommended, Dispute resolution: Appellate: courts of appeals/Appellate: supreme courts (states and federal), The Legal 500 US (2021, 2022)
Recommended, Dispute resolution: Appellate, The Legal 500 US (2019)
Recognized as a “Top 100 Up-and-Coming Texas Rising Stars” by Thomson Reuters Texas Super Lawyers (2017)
Recognized as a “Rising Star” in Appellate Law by Thomson Reuters Texas Super Lawyers (2015–2017)
Temple Bar Scholar, 2011
Honorary Overseas Member of the Commercial Bar Association of England and Wales (COMBAR)
Recommended, Dispute resolution - Appellate - Supreme Court (federal and state), The Legal 500 US (2017, 2018, 2020)