Attorneys in the Clutch

Earlier this year I ran a blog post on the most powerful justices across time, which focused on their decisions in cases with single vote margin majorities.  That post accounted for the decision makers, but it did not consider the attorneys whose arguments factor into the justices’ decision calculi.  This post takes a look at…

Fast Out of the Gates (SCOTUS’ October 2017 Oral Arguments)

On October 2nd, the Supreme Court will be back in session with the first oral arguments of 2017.  Since Justice Scalia passed away in February 2016 the justices have taken a light caseload and generally have not heard cases that would lead to great rifts among themselves.  This non-divisive set of cases during the 2016…

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…

The Year of the Patent

Possibly due to its eight Justice configuration, the Supreme Court heard a unique slate of cases this term with no noted landmark cases or decisions.  Then again perhaps landmark is in the eye of the beholder.  This term the Supreme Court heard six patent cases which conceivably is the most such cases the Supreme Court has heard…

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…

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…

SCOTUS Scorecard Pt. 2: The Firm Side of the Story

The top Supreme Court litigators from this past Term were composed of a group of well-known names within circles that track cases moving through the Court.  Examining these attorneys, however, only conveys part of the story of the actors involved in this litigation.  From the perspective of the client representation there is a structure that goes…

SCOTUS Scorecard 2015/2016 Pt. 1: Experience is Key

Now that the 2015 Supreme Court is complete, it is a perfect time to inspect the case outcomes.  My previous post examined the winning attorneys from each oral argument.  Many of the attorneys involved are from a small division of firms and groups focused on Supreme Court practice (or from larger firms  with specialized appellate practices) and are…

Oral Argument Winners 2015/2016

Image by:  Carlos Barria/Reuters This week marks the end of the 2015 Supreme Court Term.  There are a ton of data to sort through to better understand the repercussions of the cases and the actors involved.  One way to analyze the data is simply by looking at the attorneys that were most successful at oral argument…

The Regulars: Supreme Court Litigation 2015-2016

  Since 2001 the Supreme Court has written full opinions in 67-75 orally argued cases per Term.  We are certain not to see more than 75 this Term and nowhere near the 151 such cases in the 1982 and 1983 Terms, which were high points for the second half of the 20th century.  With fewer cases,…