Ruthanne Deutsch is a founding partner at Deutsch Hunt PLLC, an appellate boutique. After more than a decade as an international development economist, Ruthanne had a dream that she was a lawyer. Within a year she was enrolled in law school, after which she clerked for the Federal Circuit and then for the United States Supreme Court, and became an appellate litigator.
Dedication to sharp analysis and effective writing have been the constants throughout Ruthanne’s professional life, whether in her first incarnation as an economist, or her current vocation as an appellate lawyer. Her legal experience spans the public, private, and academic clinical sectors, and includes appearances before the Supreme Court of the United States and federal and state appellate courts throughout the country. She has particular expertise in the areas of federal jurisdiction, federal practice and procedure, public international law, federal consumer protection law, and patent and tort cases involving legal questions of first impression.
Ruthanne has briefed scores of appeals in the federal courts of appeal and state courts of last resort, including dozens of briefs at the merits and certiorari stages in the Supreme Court of the United States. She has twice argued before the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, and has argued before the D.C. Circuit and the Eleventh Circuit. She has also argued before the Maryland Court of Appeals (on a question certified by the Fourth Circuit). In addition to her work on merits and amicus briefing, Ruthanne has considerable experience litigating complex procedural and dispositive motions before various courts of appeals. She frequently counsels clients on appellate strategy before complaints are even filed, on forum selection, claim crafting, and preservation of appellate issues; and has also provided post-judgment counseling.
Ruthanne served as a law clerk for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg of the Supreme Court of the United States, and for Judge Timothy B. Dyk, of the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals. Immediately before co-founding Deutsch Hunt PLLC, she served as a Clinical Teaching Fellow and Supervising Attorney at the Appellate Litigation Clinic and Adjunct Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center, where she supervised briefing, argued cases, regularly participated in moot courts, taught a seminar for judicial interns, and co-taught appellate advocacy and federal practice. She maintains her connection to the Law Center through pro bono collaboration with the Appellate Litigation Clinic, participation in moot courts at Georgetown's Supreme Court Institute, and facilitating mindfulness training for law students in the Law Center’s Lawyers in Balance program.
In addition to teaching and practicing appellate advocacy in the academic setting, Ruthanne has litigated appeals in the private and public sectors. Her private practice experience includes stints in the Supreme Court and Appellate Practice Groups of two DC law firms. Her public service was in the Office of General Counsel of the Federal Trade Commission, where she briefed and argued appeals and dispositive legal motions, reviewed complaints, liaised with other agencies and the Office of the Solicitor General on Supreme Court matters, and counseled enforcement staff on legal issues. While at the FTC, she received an Official Commendation for Meritorious Service for her “outstanding contributions to the Commission’s litigation efforts.”
Ruthanne studied International Relations and Economics at Yale University, and received a Ph.D. in Economics in 1994. During and after graduate school Ruthanne worked as an international development economist, first with the World Bank, and then with the Inter-American Development Bank. She was involved in project work as well as policy research and strategy development, primarily in the areas of poverty reduction, social sectors reform, early childhood development, and promoting gender equity and social inclusion.
Ruthanne studied law at Georgetown University Law Center, where she was Executive Articles Editor of the Georgetown Law Journal. She graduated from the Law Center summa cum laude in 2004. A decade later, she returned to Georgetown as a clinical teaching fellow with the Georgetown Appellate Litigation Program, and received an LL.M. in advocacy, with distinction, in 2016.