Christopher Bates is a member of the firm’s Appellate, Litigation, and First Amendment and Religious Organizations sections. His practice focuses on appeals and critical motions in complex cases in both state and federal court. He has argued numerous cases in both the Utah Supreme Court and Utah Court of Appeals and has argued in eleven of the thirteen federal circuits. He has also handled a variety of dispositive motions in courts across the country. Chris’s subject matter experience includes a range of constitutional, regulatory, and commercial issues.

Chris has significant experience in senior positions in both state and federal government. Before joining Kirton McConkie, Chris served as deputy solicitor general for Utah. In that position, he managed complex ligation for the state on a range of topics and routinely appeared in both appellate and trial courts. He also led the state’s amicus efforts in the U.S. Supreme Court and federal courts of appeals. Prior to that, Chris served as senior counsel to the Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division at the U.S. Department of Justice, where he defended agency rulemakings and other administrative actions against statutory and constitutional challenges.

Earlier in his career, Chris was chief counsel to U.S. Senator Orrin G. Hatch on the Senate Judiciary Committee. In that role, he served as Senator Hatch’s chief legal advisor on intellectual property, antitrust, criminal law, and immigration issues. He led introduction and passage of several key pieces of legislation and staffed the senator at two Supreme Court confirmation hearings. He brings this legislative experience to bear in analyzing complex statutes and building coalitions in multiparty litigation.

Chris began his career by serving as a law clerk to Judge Thomas B. Griffith on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. He was then a litigation associate in Sidley Austin’s Supreme Court and Appellate Practice in Washington, DC. He has also taught college-level courses on constitutional law and legal studies.

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