The Thirty-Second Charles L. Decker Lecture in Administrative and Civil Law

AuthorMr. Stuart Delery
This is an edited transcript of a lecture as delivered on February 27, 2014, by Stuart
Delery to members of the staff and faculty, distinguished guests, and officers attending
the 62d Graduate Course at The Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center and School,
Charlottesville, Virginia. The lecture is in honor of Major General Charles L. Decker, the
founder and first Commandant of The Judge Advocate General’s School, U.S. Army, in
Charlottesville, Virginia, and the 25th Judge Advocate General of the Army.
1 Mr. Delery was sworn in as the Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division on
August 5, 2013, following confirmation by the U.S. Senate. He has led the Division
since March 2012.
As the Assistant Attorney General, Mr. Delery oversees the largest litigating
division in the Department of Justice. Each year, the Civil Division represents some 200
client agencies in approximately 50,000 different matters. The Civil Division represents
the United States in legal challenges to congressional statutes, Administration policies,
and federal agency actions. These cases concern federal benefit programs; commercial
issues, such as contract disputes, banking, insurance, patents, and debt collection;
international trade matters; enforcement of immigration laws; and civil and criminal
violations of consumer protection laws. The Division protects the health and safety of
Americans by defending cases related to national security and by enforcing protections
for the safety of food and medicines. Finally, the Civil Division recovers billions of
dollars for taxpayers through affirmative litigation, such as its enforcement of federal
consumer-protection laws and its record-setting efforts under the False Claims Act,
including cases targeting health care fraud, financial fraud, and fraud against the military.
Since joining the Civil Division, Mr. Delery has focused on cases involving national
security, health and safety, and financial fraud. He also co-chairs several working groups
of the Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force, which was established by President
Obama in 2009. In addition, at the Attorney General’s direction, Mr. Delery leads the
team of Department lawyers coordinating the government-wide implementation of the
Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Windsor, which struck down Section 3 of
the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
Mr. Delery joined the U.S. Department of Justice in January 2009 as Chief of Staff
and Counselor to the Deputy Attorney General, and later served as Associate Deputy
Attorney General. From August 2010 until March 2012, Mr. Delery served as Senior
Counselor to the Attorney General. Before joining the Department of Justice, Mr. Delery
was a partner in the Washington D.C. office of the law firm WilmerHale, where he was a
member of the Litigation Department and the Appellate and Supreme Court Litigation
Practice Group, and was Vice Chair of the firm’s Securities Department. His practice
focused on matters involving securities and other financial frauds, internal corporate
investigations, and complex litigation in trial courts and on appeal presenting novel
questions of constitutional and federal law.
Mr. Delery graduated from Yale Law School and the University of Virginia. He
clerked for Justices Sandra Day O’Connor and Byron R. White of the U.S. Supreme
Court, and for Chief Judge Gerald B. Tjoflat of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the
Eleventh Circuit.

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