A federal regulatory expert and seasoned litigator with 17 years of private sector and high-level government experience, including senior roles in the Obama White House, Jonathan offers an insider’s perspective on how to negotiate with and influence regulatory agencies, investigate and reduce compliance risks, close strategic tech deals, manage high-stakes federal and state enforcement actions, and coordinate incident response and crisis communications for enterprise-threatening crises in the national news.
Jonathan Rackoff is a partner in Marten’s Seattle office, where he chairs the Firm’s Regulatory and Government Investigations group. A trial and appellate litigator by training with broad experience in healthcare regulatory, privacy, climate and sustainability, and environmental and congressional investigative matters, Jonathan helps clients in a range of industries navigate our evolving and increasingly global enforcement, compliance, and regulatory approval landscape.
Jonathan has recently focused on COVID-19 strategic response actions and related compliance and oversight matters for global tech companies, but his diverse background spans:
- Serving as General Counsel of a successful biopharmaceutical startup;
- Leading congressional oversight and incident response for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, including defending 97 investigations and 62 hearings first-chair;
- Served twice in the Department of Clinical Bioethics at the National Institutes of Health, both as a fellow and later as visiting faculty; and
- Litigated before U.S. trial and appellate courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court, and a range of federal agencies – from medical technology patents, to FDA administrative decisions, to data privacy compliance procedures.
Earlier in his career, Jonathan clerked for Ninth Circuit Judge Proctor Hug Jr., as well as District Judge Marianna R. Pfaelzer in the Central District of California in Los Angeles. He graduated from Stanford Law School, where he was an Articles Editor on the Stanford Law Review and published multiple times on health policy and clinical research topics, including in the New England Journal of Medicine. Jonathan received his B.A. with honors in philosophy and biology from Oberlin College.
- Represented a former Regional Administrator of U.S. EPA Region 5 in a congressional investigation and public hearings before the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Reform regarding the Flint, Michigan water crisis
- Represented a Fortune 500 transportation company as appellate counsel at trial, defending claims arising from a fatal railway collision and toxic chemical release
- Represented a biopharmaceutical startup as outside general counsel
- Represented a large e-commerce company in an internal investigation of EPA allegations of Clean Air Act noncompliance
- Represented a software and consumer electronics manufacturer in advice regarding California’s Proposition 65 and compliance management best practices
- Represented an e-waste recycler in connection with TSCA compliance assurance monitoring by U.S. EPA
- a food and agribusiness company in defense of long-standing minerals processing enforcement by U.S. EPA and DOJ-ENRD
- Represented 11 prospective political appointees requiring Senate confirmation through the vetting process and congressional hearings
- Represented an international medical device company in its appeal from an adverse verdict of patent infringement under the doctrine of equivalents
- Represented three national trade associations as amici curiae in support of a specialty chemicals company’s certiorari petition to the U.S. Supreme Court (environmental criminal issues);
- Represented a telecommunications company in its Federal Circuit appeal from an ITC determination of no Section 337 violation by competitor’s importation and sale of certain mobile telephone handsets
- Represented a franchisee of an international hotel chain on certiorari petition to the U.S. Supreme Court (standing under Title III of the ADA)
- Represented a Fortune 500 manufacturer in antitrust litigation over claims that its market share-based wholesale incentive program violated the Robinson-Patman Act, where damages sought exceeded $250 million.
Education & Clerkship
- J.D., Stanford Law School – Stanford, CA (2003)
- B.A., with honors, Oberlin College – Oberlin, OH (1997)
- Law Clerk to the Honorable Mariana R. Pfaelzer, U.S. District Court for the Central District of California (2006-2007)
- Law Clerk to the Honorable Proctor Hug, Jr., U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (2005-2006)
Admissions & Memberships
- District of Columbia Bar
- State Bar of California
- Tegalux Biosciences LLC, General Counsel – Washington, D.C. (2017-2018)
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Immediate Office of the General Counsel, Senior Counsel – Washington, D.C. (2014-2017)
- White House, Office of Management and Budget, Office of General Counsel, AGC & Lead Counsel, Regulatory – Washington, D.C. (2010-2014)
- White House, Office of Management and Budget, Chief Ethics Officer (DAEO) – Washington, D.C. (2010-2014)
- Sidley Austin LLP, Supreme Court and Appellate Associate – Washington, D.C. (2007-2010)
- National Institutes of Health, Clinical Center, Department of Bioethics, Visiting Faculty – Bethesda, MD (Fall Term 2007)
- Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP, Litigation Associate – Washington, D.C. (2003-2005)
- National Institutes of Health, Clinical Center, Department of Bioethics, Fellow – Bethesda, MD (1998-2000)
- The Lewin Group, Medical Technology Practice, Management Consultant – Fairfax, VA (1997-1998)