Daniel W. Wolff

Washington, D.C.
Phone: +1 202.624.2621
1001 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20004-2595

Dan Wolff is a litigator and regulatory problem solver. He is a partner in Crowell & Moring's Washington, D.C. office and chairs the firm's Administrative Law & Regulatory Practice. Dan works with clients across a wide spectrum of regulated industries, counseling them on their rights and obligations under a number of federal regulatory programs and in responding to government enforcement actions. Dan appears regularly in federal district and appellate courts, frequently in matters arising under the Administrative Procedure Act and other federal statutes, or which pose constitutional questions. He also litigates commercial and products liability cases.

The National Law Journal named Dan as one of its 2020 Political Activism and 1st Amendment Rights Trailblazers.

In addition to being a skilled litigator, Dan advises clients in responding to government investigations of workplace accidents, fatalities, supervisor liability, whistleblower complaints, and requests for company records. He also speaks and writes frequently on administrative law litigation, and all aspects of workplace safety and health compliance and enforcement defense.

Representative Engagements

  • Administrative Procedure Act / Constitution
    • Dan is a veteran federal district court litigator against the United States. He has brought numerous actions on behalf of clients against Cabinet-level departments or their sub-agencies seeking injunctive and declaratory relief under the Administrative Procedure Act or U.S. Constitution challenging agency rulemakings or other agency actions.
    • As part of his litigation practice, Dan also represents clients from time to time as intervenors or amici in third-party litigation filed by or against federal agencies.
    • Dan also advises clients on rights and litigation strategies arising under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
    • In the past year, as lead or co-counsel, Dan has secured litigation victories for clients in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California (arising under the Freedom of Information Act), in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland (obtaining a damages award on summary judgment arising out of a municipality’s violation of the client’s First Amendment rights); and in two cases in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia (arising under the Administrative Procedure Act and other federal statutes).
  • Appellate
    • Dan regularly appears in the federal courts of appeals, as well, frequently in petitions for review of federal agency rulemakings or in opposing (or supporting as intervenor or amicus) some other type of agency action on appeal. He has argued appellate matters before the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the D.C., Fourth, Seventh, Tenth, Eleventh, and Federal Circuits. He has also argued appellate matters in the state/local courts of the District of Columbia and Maryland.
    • Among his noteworthy recent appellate cases are:
      • Sanford Health Plan v. United States, No. 2019-1290 (Fed. Cir.); Montana Health Co-Op v. United States, No. 2019-1302 (Fed. Cir.) (August 14, 2020) (Dan presented argument, and the Federal Circuit affirmed judgment, in a pair of cases seeking damages against the United States for money owed under the Cost-Sharing Reduction Program established by the Affordable Care Act) 
      • Maine Community Health Options v. United States, No. 18-1023 (U.S. Supreme Court) (April 27, 2020) (on brief) (in a huge win for health plans that offered health insurance on the Affordable Care Act exchanges, Crowell represented the lead petitioner in a series of cases seeking damages against the United States for money owed under the ACA's Risk Corridors Program)
      • Overbey v. Mayor and City Council of Baltimore, 930 F.3d 215 (4th Cir. 2019) (Dan was lead counsel and presented argument in this groundbreaking First Amendment case in which the Fourth Circuit held that a municipality may not enforce a non-disparagement provision of a settlement agreement in a civil rights case where the effect of enforcement would be either the stifling of the right of the settling plaintiff to speak about the official misconduct giving rise to her civil rights claims or the penalizing of her for so speaking by denying her a portion of the agreed-upon settlement)
      • MedStar Health, Inc. v. D.C. Department of Health, 146 A.2d 360 (D.C. 2016) (Dan was lead counsel and presented argument on behalf of a major health care system, obtaining reversal of a decision of the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) in a seminal case establishing the appropriate standard of review for OAH to apply in considering decisions of the Statewide Health Planning and Development Agency to grant or not grant a certificate of need).
    • Dan’s recent appearances on behalf of amici curiae include California v. Texas (No. 19-840), argued in the Supreme Court in November 2020, concerning the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, and Whitaker v. Dep't of Commerce (2d Cir., No. 18-2819), a FOIA case decided in August 2020 in which the Second Circuit affirmed the lower court’s decision consistent with the position advanced by Crowell in its amicus brief.
  • Recovery Litigation
    • Dan is actively involved in Crowell & Moring's recovery litigation practice.
    • Among other things, he is a central member of the Crowell & Moring team that has secured victories before the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of multiple health plans, and currently represents multiple health plans before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and the Court of Federal Claims in a series of lawsuits seeking high-dollar damages against the United States in claims arising under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Dan has presented multiple arguments before the Court of Federal Claims, including successful arguments in the lead cases for damages stemming from the Government’s failure to pay certain cost-sharing reduction (CSR) payments under Section 1402 of the ACA. He defended those judgments on appeal in argument before the Federal Circuit on January 9, 2020.
    • Dan is also part of Crowell’s team seeking damages on behalf of health plans stemming from inflated billing for prescription drugs.
  • Enforcement Defense
    • Dan defends industry clients in court or before administrative tribunals against citations and penalties, most frequently in actions commenced by the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) or Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA).
  • Natural Resources
    • In addition to his litigation practice, Dan has subject-matter experience in a wide variety of natural resources and public lands disputes, and this aspect of his practice frequently converges with his litigation practice in matters arising under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). On behalf of mining and other natural resources clients, Dan has appeared and argued in the federal district courts and courts of appeals on NEPA-related matters. He also counsels clients on issues arising under federal mineral leasing programs, the Antiquities Act, and the National Historic Preservation Act, among other things.
    • As part of his natural resources litigation practice, Dan has also regularly appeared before the Interior Board of Land Appeals (IBLA) in public lands disputes, both for petitioning parties as well as intervenors.
  • Mass Torts / Products Liability / Commercial
    • As a former federal district court law clerk, Dan is also “at home” in torts and commercial litigation, having represented clients in matters ranging from environmental torts and public nuisance, to breach of contract, fraud, and civil RICO.
    • Dan is currently partnering with his Torts colleagues on an active set of national litigation matters involving medical devices, utilizing his substantial briefing and in-court experience to lead the litigation motions practice.

Dan serves on the firm's Public Service Committee and maintains an active pro bono practice in a wide variety of areas, including civil and constitutional rights, due process litigation on behalf of special needs students under the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act, asylum, habeas corpus, landlord-tenant, rights of the disabled under the Americans with Disabilities Act, fair wages, and common law torts. On such matters he has appeared in the federal courts, the U.S. Immigration Court, and the courts of Maryland and the District of Columbia.

Outside of the firm, Dan serves on the steering committee of the D.C. Bar Association’s Administrative Law and Agency Practice Community, is a past president of the Energy and Mineral Law Foundation (EMLF), and is a member of the ABA and involved in its Sections on Administrative Law & Regulatory Practice, Labor and Employment and its Safety and Health subcommittee, and Environment, Energy and Resources.

Dan graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1992, where he earned a B.A. from the School of Journalism. He graduated from the University of Dayton School of Law, summa cum laude, in 2001. While in law school, Dan served as an editor on the University of Dayton Law Review and was active with the Environmental Law Society. Immediately following law school, he clerked for two years in the Southern District of Ohio for the Honorable Walter H. Rice.

Dan is licensed to practice in the District of Columbia and Ohio and is also a member of the bars of multiple federal courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court.