Sidney Powell Biography


Sidney Powell, a film producer, a former federal prosecutor, and a veteran Federal Appellate attorney was born in Durham, North Carolina and grew up in Raleigh. She is a graduate of Needham Broughton High School and the University of North Carolina for her B.A degree in Political Science and English. She obtained her undergraduate and law degrees at a young age, and she began her legal career as the youngest United States Attorney in the country.

Later, for her legal education, she joined the School of Law of the same University. And soon after gaining her degree, Sidney started working as the youngest United States Attorney.

Sidney has been practicing in the field for more than four decades now. In her long career journey, Sidney has also written the book, ‘Licensed to Lie: Exposing Corruption in the Department of Justice’.

In the book, Sidney writes her life long experiences in the field of justice. Licensed to Lie has stood in the list of the best-sellers of 2014 and still is one of the best selling books of the legal field.

Besides all her career work in the field of justice, Sidney has also justified her duty of a social being, as a film producer. She came late to the Decoding Annie Parker (2013) project, a 2013 drama film written and directed by Steven Bernstein. The film stars Samantha Morton, Helen Hunt, and Aaron Paul. The film tells the story of Annie Parker and the discovery of the BRCA1 breast cancer gene. Sidney Powell assisted to help guide the film to a commercial release. It raised millions of dollars for cancer charities in a series of charitable screenings.

Sidney Powell

Lead Counsel in more than 500 appeals

Sidney Powell, (Sidney the attorney) a former partner in a large regional firm, established her firm, Sidney Powell P.C, dedicated to federal appellate practice, in 1993. She is now practicing in the Second, Fourth, Fifth, Ninth, Tenth, and Eleventh Federal Circuits, and the United States Supreme Court. Ms. Powell also consults in federal appeals and litigation involving complex class actions and selected “white-collar” defendants, including the $3 billion national class action against Fibreboard Corporation; real estate transactions, employment law, asbestos injuries, environmental issues, oil and gas matters, contract claims, patent, trademark, copyright, attorney sanctions, civil rights actions, and a wide variety of civil issues. She has also represented judges, lawyers, and a prominent Merril Lynch executive in the Enron litigation. Sidney Powell has served as lead counsel in more than 500 appeals in the Fifth Circuit, which have resulted in more than 180 published opinions. Ms. Powell is an elected member of the American Law Institute and a Fellow of the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers for which she served in 2001-2002 as President.  She is also a past president of the Bar Association of the Fifth Federal Circuit.

From 1978 through 1988, Sidney Powell served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Western and Northern Districts of Texas and the Eastern District of Virginia, where she did criminal trial work, civil trial work, and was Appellate Section Chief for the Western and then the Northern District of Texas.  She represented the United States in approximately 350 of her 500 appeals.  In Western Texas, Ms. Powell was one of the prosecutors in the trial of Jimmy Chagra for continuing criminal enterprise violations. In the Eastern District at Virginia, she was successful in obtaining a conviction against a local attorney for bankruptcy fraud.

Sidney the Author

Sidney the Author wrote LICENSED TO LIE: Exposing Corruption in the Department of Justice after seeing a core group of federal prosecutors break all the rules, makeup crimes, hide evidence, and send innocent people to prison.  The book reads like a legal thriller, but it names the prosecutors who then rose to positions of great power and the judges who turned a blind eye to their abuses of unfettered power.  She continues to write articles on government misconduct and prosecutorial misconduct for The Daily Caller, the Observer, the Hill, Fox News, and other outlets.

Professional Affiliations

  • Texas State Bar
  • Bar Association of the Fifth Federal Circuit
  • Licensed in the United States Supreme Court; the Fourth, Fifth, Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh, and the Federal Circuits; and, the Northern, Southern, Eastern, and Western Districts of Texas
  • American Law Institute, elected in 1991
  • Fellow, American Academy of Appellate Lawyers, elected in 1993-2015
  • Dallas Bar Association
  • Supreme Court Historical Society

Professional Awards and Activities:

  • Editor, Fifth Circuit Reporter (West Publishing Co.), 1986-2006.
  • President of the Bar Association of the Fifth Federal Circuit, 1989-91.
  • President, American Academy of Appellate Lawyers, 2001-2002; Director 1996-98; Treasurer, 1999; President-Elect, 2000.
  • Board of Governors, Fifth Circuit Bar Association 1986-present.
  • Lawyers’ Advisory Committee for the Fifth Circuit, 1986-89.
  • Chair of the Appellate Law and Trial Practice Committee for the Federal Bar Association’s Federal Litigation Section, October 1993-95.
  • Vice-Chair, Federal Judiciary Relations Committee, Texas State Bar, 1994.
  • Federal Judiciary Liaison Committee for the Northern District of Texas, 1992-96.
  • American Bar Association Appellate Judges’ Conference Appellate Practice Committee, 1992, 1998.
  • Local Affairs Committee, Greater Dallas Chamber of Commerce, 1991.
  • Legal Affairs Committee, Greater Dallas Chamber of Commerce, 1991.
  • Chair, Federal Appellate Practice Committee, Appellate Litigation Section of the Texas Bar, 1988-89.
  • Associate Editor, The Appellate Advocate, Texas State Bar, 1988-1991.
  • Planning Committee, Texas Bar Advanced Criminal Law course, 1988-1989, Advanced Civil Appellate Course, 1993.
  • Board of Directors, Texas Resource Center, 1989.

Selected Teaching Experience

  • Oral Arguments, Fifth Circuit Appellate Practice Seminar, 2016, 2017.
  • Panelist, Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference, Prosecutorial Misconduct, 2015.
  • Panelist, Fifth Circuit Judicial Conference, Prosecutorial Misconduct, 2014.
  • Brief Writing, Texas State Bar Appellate Course, 2010, 2011.
  • How to Reverse a Case on Appeal, Spring 2004.
  • Federal Appellate Practice, Federal Bar Seminar, Dallas 2004.
  • Chair, Fall 2002 meeting of the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers in Denver.
  • Chair, annual Fifth Circuit Appellate Practice and Advocacy Seminar, 1986-2006.
  • Federal Appellate Practice, Federal Bar Seminar, Dallas, Texas, March 2002.
  • Federal Appellate Practice, Texas/Louisiana Defense Lawyers Association, June 2002.
  • Chair, Spring 2001 meeting of the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers in San Antonio.
  • “Pitfalls in Perfecting Federal Appeals,” Advanced Civil Appellate Practice Course sponsored by the State Bar of Texas, September 1995.
  • “Federal Discovery,” 11th Annual Advanced Personal Injury Law Course sponsored by the State Bar of Texas, July 1995.
  • Panel discussion “Inside the Fifth Circuit,” 5th Annual Conference on Techniques for Handling Civil Appeals in State and Federal Court sponsored by the University of Texas School of Law, June 1995.
  • Authored the sample brief and presented the demonstration oral argument for the ABA Appellate Judges Division National Appellate Practice Seminar, 2000.
  • “Common Traps Encountered in a Federal Appeal,” 1995 Federal Civil Practice Seminar sponsored by the Federal Bar Association, March 1995-2000.
  • “ERISA Jurisdiction,” 1994 Federal Practice Seminar sponsored by The Rutter Group, November 1994.
  • “Building and Keeping a Successful Appellate Practice,” American Bar Association annual meeting, September 1994.
  • “Recent Changes in the Federal Appellate Rules,” Federal Bar Association – Dallas Chapter Luncheon, September 1994.
  • “Building and Keeping A Successful Appellate Practice,” ABA in New Orleans, August 1994.
  • Moderator, “Brief Writing and Oral Argument: The View From the Bench”, University of Texas Appellate Seminar, June, 1993.
  • “Common Traps for the Federal Appellate Attorney,” Texas State Bar Advanced Civil Appellate Course, 1993.
  • Presented the mock oral argument at the National Federal Bar Association Convention, 1993.
  • Panelist, “Federal Rules Amendments and Other `Hot Topics’”, The Rutter Group, 1993, 1994;
  • “Perfecting the Appeal in Federal Court”, University of Texas Appellate Seminar, June, 1992.
  • “Perfecting the Federal Appeal,” Texas State Bar Advanced Civil Appellate Course, 1992.
  • Guest lecturer, “Briefwriting for the Fifth Circuit,” Loyola Law School, September 1991.
  • Panelist, “Civil Case Management,” 1990 Fifth Circuit District Judges Workshop.
  • “Preserving and Protecting the Record for Appeal,” ALI/ABA Appellate Practice Institute, October 1990.
  • “Federal Appeals,” Dallas Federal Bar Advanced Civil Course, March 1990-93.
  • “Federal Appeals: Tips for the Texas Practitioner,” Texas State Bar Advanced Civil Appellate Course, 1988, 1989, 1991.
  • “Federal Criminal Appeals,” Texas State Bar Advanced Criminal Law Course, 1987-1989.
  • “Federal Appeals,” Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, Federal Criminal Law Seminar, June 1987, December 1987; Appellate Seminar, August 1987.
  • “Reasonable Suspicion and Probable Cause,” “Search Warrants,” Immigration and Naturalization Regional Conference, April 1987; September 1987.
  • Guest speaker, “Federal Appeals,” Georgetown Law School Appellate Litigation Clinic, 1987.
  • “Reasonable Suspicion and Probable Cause,” “Search Warrant,” Drug Enforcement Administration Clandestine Lab School, 1986.
  • Instructor, United States Department of Justice Attorney General’s Advocacy Institute, Criminal Trial Course, July 1984.
  • Instructor and Group Leader in three, week-long courses each year, 1984-1987, United States Department of Justice Attorney General’s Advocacy Institute, Appellate Course.

Civic Service

  • Asheville Area Center for the Performing Arts (Board President 2004-5).
  • The Genesis Alliance, Inc. (Founder and President, 2004, Board Member) Asheville, NC.
  • The Asheville Symphony Association (Board Member, 2004-5).
  • Asheville Bravo (Board Memeber, 2009-2011).
  • University of North Carolina Center for Public Service (Outreach Board, 2004-2008).
  • Loaves and Fishes Charitable Gift Market (Founder), Asheville, NC.
  • Rotarian, 1995-2005.
  • Genesis Women’s Shelter, Dallas, Texas (Advisory Board Member 1995-2000).
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