A Changing of the Guard? (Probably Not But the Evidence is Mixed)

In an article I wrote last year I found several Supreme Court repeat players were much more successful than others in getting the Supreme Court to hear their cases. Many of these “Elite Cert Attorneys” argue multiple cases each term before the justices.  They all have high exposure to all aspects of Supreme Court process and…

First-Timers in the Court

In recent years, a lot has been made of the repeat players before the U.S. Supreme Court – and rightfully so. They are involved in many high profile cases the justices hear, several have prior governmental experience…and they win. These attorneys include past-SG’s Seth Waxman, Ted Olson, and Paul Clement among others.  An understudied but…

Highly Citable

Attorneys before the Supreme Court have multiple goals.  Whether the ultimate goal is winning a case, affecting public policy, or testing the constitutionality of a piece of legislation, good counsel get the justices’ attention.  How they get the justices’ attention varies.  Some engender attention through their regular experience before the Court while others through the…

Easy Reading (By Supreme Court Standards)

Supreme Court briefs are team efforts usually with a main coordinating partner/attorney who is known as the “counsel of record.”  Although the number of attorneys staffing briefs varies, at the Supreme Court level the number of attorneys listed on the brief is often more than five and can be upwards of ten.  This does not…

Attorneys and Firms in the Supreme Court 2016

The Supreme Court wrapped up oral arguments for the 2016 term on April 26, 2017 with arguments in Sandoz Inc. v. Amgen and Maslenjak v. United States. These marked the 63rd and 64th arguments the Justices heard this term – down five from the 69 arguments the Justices heard a year prior.  While the Court…

Attorney Arguments 2016/2017

The Supreme Court released its final argument calendar of the term with thirteen arguments slated for April. Although this term started out slow, most likely due to the Justices’ apprehension at the possibility of reaching equal divisions in cases, case grants picked up pace especially after the presidential election. Though we won’t see a new…

Bringing Cases in an Unusual Term: Top Petitioners and Cert Amici

There are certain criteria that indicate or signal the importance of a Supreme Court petition to the Court –experienced SCOTUS counsel on the cert briefs, federal governmental involvement, and cert stage amicus briefs – just to name a few.  Although there is no surefire way to predict whether the Court will grant cert in a…

Amicus Oral Argument Participation Over Time

Amici regularly participate in Supreme Court oral arguments.  Recently these appearances have been dominated by attorneys from the United States Office of the Solicitor General (OSG). While OSG attorneys have historically argued more cases as amici than other attorneys, there is much less diversity in the last decade.  In fact, the bulk of non-OSG amici…

Four Takeaways From this Term’s 2016 SCOTUS Oral Arguments

We are experiencing a changing of the guard in the Supreme Court. There has been an usually long period with an eight-Justice dynamic which will very possibly continue on through the end of the Court’s current Term. Without some unprecedented occurrence, President-Elect Trump will nominate the next Justice to the Supreme Court who will likely…

Will the Election Help Normalize Business at the Supreme Court?

Prior to the Presidential Election there was profound uncertainty about the future of the Court.  Before election night many believed Clinton would take the presidency and the democrats would look to move on the Garland nomination or otherwise nominate another candidate to the Supreme Court.  With the Trump victory an entirely new chapter will be…

Breaking Down Arguments in Samsung v. Apple

On Tuesday the Justices heard oral arguments in the highly anticipated patent case, Samsung v. Apple.  With this case, the Justices wrestled with the question of whether Samsung infringed on Apple’s front screen and interface on the IPhone. The stakes are quite high as the appellate court upheld a $400-million verdict against Samsung. While patent…

Taking Stock: New Cases and an Emerging Picture of the Term

With the “long conference” before the beginning of the 2016 Supreme Court Term complete the Court has granted what could be the last set of cases before the Justices start hearing oral arguments next Tuesday (Oct. 4). The Court has two months of hearings scheduled with other cases still lacking oral argument dates. The Court’s…