Trevor Potter is a Member in Caplin & Drysdale's Washington, D.C., office, where he leads the firm's Political Law Group. He is one of the nation's best-known and experienced campaign and election lawyers. A former Commissioner and Chairman of the Federal Election Commission, and counsel to several Presidential campaigns, Mr. Potter has been described by the American Bar Association Journal as "hands-down one of the top lawyers in the country on the delicate intersection of politics, law, and money."
Mr. Potter has been rated AV by Martindale-Hubbell®, listed as one of the "Best Lawyers in America®," and listed among Washington, D.C.'s, Super Lawyers®. He was recently described as "smart as a whip" in his Chambers USA listing, and the editors of Campaigns & Elections Magazine voted him among the "Top 50 Influencers" in the political world to watch in the 2014 election cycle.
Mr. Potter counsels political candidates, for-profit entities, and nonprofit organizations on a variety of political law issues. He is a leading authority on lobbying regulation, government ethics and campaign finance issues, and is known nationally for his experience in compliance programs, campaign finance investigations, and questions concerning lobbying registration and disclosure, as well as federal and state ethics rules.
Representative examples of how Mr. Potter assists clients, include:
- Implementing compliance programs that facilitate adherence to the law and maximize organizational effectiveness with regards to lobbying, giving campaign contributions, and interacting with public-sector entities.
- Responding to political law investigations, audits, and complaints by defending individuals and organizations in court and before administrative agencies.
- Helping politically active individuals and organizations, including political action committees, with establishing and maintaining their status and avoiding civil and criminal penalties.
- Advising on government ethics rules that restrict the nature and amount of gifts, employment offers, event hosting, travel sponsorships, and other benefits that private individuals and organizations may confer on public officials.
- Navigating the extensive registration and disclosure requirements placed on individuals and organiztions who lobby public officials.
Mr. Potter served as General Counsel to John McCain's 2008 and 2000 presidential campaigns. He also served as Deputy General Counsel to George H.W. Bush's 1988 campaign. Mr. Potter is Counsel to Stephen Colbert's 501(c)(4) and he advises Mr. Colbert on campaign finance issues on The Colbert Report. He was also the lawyer for Mr. Colbert's SuperPac "Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow" in the 2012 election cycle.
Mr. Potter is the founding President of and General Counsel for the Campaign Legal Center, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit which focuses on campaign finance issues in the courts and before the FEC.