Julian Mortenson

Professor of Law, Michigan Law

An engaged scholar and award-winning teacher?, Julian Davis Mortenson specializes in constitutional and transnational law. His research focuses on the allocation of public authority in both international and domestic governance, frequently from a historical perspective. He currently serves as co-editor of the "Contemporary Practice of the United States" section of the American Journal of International Law.


Professor Mortenson is active in both international arbitration and domestic constitutional litigation. He was lead counsel on a team that recently secured a permanent injunction requiring Michigan to recognize the marriages of more than 300 same-sex couples. He has also served as arbitrator, counsel, and expert witness in commercial and investor-state disputes under the ICC, ICSID, UNCITRAL, and VIAC rules, and has litigated complex transnational matters in the U.S. courts, including actions involving the enforcement of foreign law and foreign judgments. Other representative matters include his work as one of the principal drafters of the merits briefs in the landmark case Boumediene v. Bush, which secured the right of Guantanamo detainees to challenge their incarceration, and his representation of discharged military service members challenging the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law prior to its congressional repeal.


Before joining the faculty, Professor Mortenson worked at the law firm WilmerHale, in the President's Office of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, and as a law clerk for both Justice David H. Souter and the Hon. J. Harvie Wilkinson III. Prior to law school, he was a management consultant with a client portfolio spanning the finance, manufacturing, oil and gas, and information technology industries. Professor Mortenson was salutatorian of his class at Stanford Law School and received an AB in history, summa cum laude, from Harvard College.

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