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Gibson Dunn Hires Former Fifth Circuit Judge Costa as Partner

Sept. 7, 2022, 2:14 PM

Gregg Costa, who left the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit last month, is joining Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher as a partner in its Houston office, the firm announced.

Costa will serve as co-chair of the global trial practice group and build a practice focused on civil trial, white collar defense and investigations after he joins in October, according to a firm statement Wednesday.

“There are few litigators today who have Gregg’s experience and perspective as a former federal prosecutor and judge,” Veronica Moyé, a Dallas partner, said in a statement. “His insights will be invaluable to our clients, and we are fortunate to be able to continue our Texas litigation expansion with Gregg at the helm.”

President Barack Obama nominated Costa and he served on the Fifth Circuit from 2014 to 2022. He announced earlier this year the rare move of departing a life-tenured federal appeals court seat after less than a decade.

“I left the federal bench because I missed the competition and teamwork that comes with trying cases,” Costa said in a statement. “Gibson Dunn is the perfect home to try cases, work as a member of a collaborative litigation team, and build a winning practice.”

Costa previously served a trial judge on the US District Court for the Southern District of Texas, where he took the bench at the age of 39. Costa also worked as an assistant US attorney and associate with Weil, Gotshal & Manges in Houston.

In an interview with Bloomberg Law in April, Costa said that although federal judgeships are lifetime appointments, he doesn’t think “life tenure is a life sentence.”

“Someone will replace me. Will they be just like me? Of course not,” Costa said. “But that’s good. They’ll bring their own talents and experience and perspective.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Seth Stern in Washington at
To contact the editor for this story: John Hughes at