He may not have the name recognition of a sports celebrity or rock star, but make no mistake: David Boies is a giant — one with a ringside seat in the pantheon that will enshrine him as a jurist of historic proportions.Boies garnered global attention as lead counsel in 531 U.S. 98, better known as Bush v. Gore, the US Supreme Court case that determined the winner of the 2000 election. Though Boies came out on the losing side of that decision, he is a superstar among his peers.
“David Boies is America’s most persuasive and brilliant…one of the kindest, most warmhearted, gracious, and generous persons I have ever known, and a dear, dear friend,” says former US solicitor general Ted Olsen, the opposing counsel in that case. “David in court is…a devastatingly creative genius.”Boies has had more than his share of landmark victories, of course, including Hollingsworth v. Perry, in which he and Olsen joined forces to argue that it was every gay American’s constitutional right to marry. Yet Boies, who has been one of TIME’s 100 Most Influential People in the World, has a playful side, too: He made a cameo as himself in the series finale of The Good Wife.
These days, Boies, who cossets a 10,000-bottle rare-wine collection in his Armonk home, is making headlines again — as lead counsel for the embattled former AIG CEO Maurice “Hank” Greenberg.