Photo of R. Shawn  Gunnarson

R. Shawn Gunnarson

Key Bank Tower
36 S. State Street
Suite 1900
Salt Lake City, UT 84111

Related Info

Mr. Gunnarson is a member of the firm's Litigation, Appellate, and First Amendment and Religious Organizations sections. Prior to joining Kirton McConkie, he served as Senior Counsel to a U.S. Senator, was as an associate for the Washington, D.C. office of an international law firm, and worked at a Washington public interest law firm.

His practice includes constitutional law and appellate litigation, Internet governance, and telecommunications. He has extensive U.S. Supreme Court experience, having filed briefs or petitions in over 50 cases before that Court, including six cases during the October 2018 term alone. For instance, he has obtained a grant of certiorari, remand, and vacatur by the Supreme Court for his client in a Takings Clause case. He has also filed briefs in all but two U.S. Courts of Appeals.

He was recently appointed to a second four-year term as a member of the Utah Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Rules of Appellate Procedure. He is a member of both the Utah and the District of Columbia bars.


  • Advise global organizations on Internet governance, formulate strategic recommendations to achieve their goals, and assist with executing that strategy.
  • Quoted in The Economist and The Financial Times in articles discussing Internet governance.
  • Wrote formal comments on proposed changes to the U.S. Department of Commerce contract that authorizes the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to act as the global technical coordinator for the Internet.
  • Wrote formal comments on several policy changes proposed by ICANN.
  • Wrote blogs on ICANN and Internet governance that have attracted 54,000 hits.
  • Served as Senior Counsel to U.S. Senator Robert F. Bennett, advising him on issues regarding Internet governance, telecommunications, cyber security, critical infrastructure protection, intellectual property, and constitutional law.
  • Served as ex officio member of the CSIS Commission on Cyber Security for the 44th Presidency.
  • Assisted with civil appeals before federal appellate courts and state supreme courts involving the First Amendment, torts, choice of law, and state rules of civil procedure.
  • Represented a landowner before the U.S. Supreme Court and the South Carolina Supreme Court in a prominent regulatory takings case.
  • Represented state-owned energy suppliers in complex and appellate litigation regarding the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, the domestic execution of international arbitral awards, and valid service of process.
  • Represented clients as amici curiae in 40 cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, presenting, among others, questions under the Takings Clause, the Commerce Clause, the First Amendment Speech and Establishment Clauses, and the Patent Clause.




Brigham Young University, J.D., cum laude, 1994

  • Scholarly Writing Award, 1994
  • Member, BYU Law Review, 1993-94

Brigham Young University, B.A., Political Science and Honors in Philosophy (University Honors with Thesis), magna cum laude, 1991

Bar Admissions

  • Utah, 1995
  • District of Columbia, 2002
Other Admissions
  • Supreme Court of the United States
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
  • U.S Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Utah


Appointee, Utah Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Rules of Appellate Procedure, 2015 - 2019