Geoffrey J. Derrick’s practice focuses on the defense of class and collective action litigation.
Practice & Background
Mr. Derrick offers the unique perspective of a former state and federal public defender, as well as a former state and federal law clerk.
He authored numerous appellate and post-conviction briefs on behalf of indigent criminal defendants at the Center for Appellate Litigation in New York City and the Federal Defenders of San Diego, Inc. In one case, he authored and presented oral argument on a habeas corpus motion that exonerated a client who had served 17 years in prison for two murders he did not commit. In another, he represented a federal death row inmate in constitutional challenges to the death penalty.
Immediately before joining Akin Gump, Mr. Derrick served as a law clerk to the Honorable Paul L. Friedman of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia (2015-2017) and to the Honorable Catharine F. Easterly of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals (2014-2015).
Mr. Derrick received his J.D., magna cum laude, in 2012 from Boston University School of Law, where he was an Edward F. Hennessey Distinguished Scholar and director of the law school’s Appellate Advocacy Program. He received his B.S. in Communication Studies and Legal Studies in 2007 from Northwestern University, where he was a policy debater.
Mr. Derrick’s recent engagements include:
- representing financial institution in multiple putative class actions alleging violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA)
- representing industrial manufacturer in putative wage and hour class action alleging overtime, off-the-clock, and rounding claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
- representing foreign sovereign in Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) litigation
- representing sports and entertainment company against allegations of race and age discrimination under Title VII
- representing government contractor in response to a Department of Labor inquiry regarding compliance with the Service Contract Act (SCA).
Mr. Derrick maintains an active pro bono practice in which he litigates civil rights cases related to the criminal justice system and represents criminal defendants. Those matters include:
- representing prisoner in appeal before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit from the dismissal of his Section 1983 excessive force claim as time-barred
- representing Maryland criminal defendant in the direct appeal from his conviction and 25-year sentence for fentanyl distribution
- representing Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project exoneree in his petition seeking compensation from the Maryland Board of Public Works for the 13 years he spent in prison wrongfully convicted
- representing living Japanese-American victims of mass removal and incarceration during World War II as amici curiae in putative class action challenging the U.S. Commerce Department’s decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Decennial Census
- representing Members of Congress as amici curiae in putative class action challenging the government’s adherence to the Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act.
Mr. Derrick is also active in the following community and bar associations:
- Member, American Bar Association’s Section of Labor & Employment Law, Federal Labor Standards Legislation Committee
- Member, American Bar Association’s Section of Litigation, Class Actions & Derivative Suits Committee
- Member, The Associates’ Committee
- Member, Northwestern University Alumni Admissions Council