A Big Little Case

Next Wednesday, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in an interesting case about water law in Montana, PPL Montana v. Montana. The case will be a difficult one for a variety of reasons and the Court is going to need all the help it can get with the case.

Luckily, the Court will have five-star help from the parties. The three advocates who will argue in that case–Paul Clement, Gregory Garre, and Edwin Kneedler–have a combined 200 arguments before the Supreme Court. Kneedler has 113, Clement has 54, and Garre has 33.

Star-studded oral arguments have become more and more common in recent years as the Supreme Court bar eats up an increasingly high percentage of cases. On the same day the Court hears PPL Montana it will also hear from another set of high-profile advocates in Mayo Collaborative Services v. Prometheus Lab. The advocates in that case–Stephen Shapiro, Donald Verilli, and Richard Bress–all qualify as “expert” Supreme Court litigators under Richard Lazarus’s definition of the term and combine for 50 total arguments (Shapiro (29), Verilli (14), Bress (7)).

In all, the six advocates arguing on Wednesday, December 7 will have a total of 250 arguments between them. What a remarkable day at the Court!


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