With the Term quickly approaching it’s midway point, we can take a look at which advocates have made the biggest mark on the Term. Hearing Lists for the October to January sittings have been released, with only February, March, and April to go.

Perennial Term leaders Paul Clement and Carter Phillips haven’t appeared at the Court as much as they usually do. Clement will argue his first case of the Term tomorrow (Maracich v. Spears), and Phillips has yet to argue a case during October Term 2012. Last year, the two had fourteen combined arguments in twelve different case. Clement is likely to argue at least two more cases this Term, representing the respondents in both U.S. v. Windsor and Baby Girl v. Adoptive Parents. As far as I can tell, Phillips does not appear as the counsel of record on any parties’ briefs for cases that will be argued this Term, suggesting he may not make any appearances at all. Gregory Garre, who had a strong showing during October Term 2011, is repeating much of his success — his four arguments through January match his total from last year.

With three arguments this Term, Tom Goldstein overtakes both Patricia Millett and Matthew Roberts to become the tenth most frequently-appearing advocate of the twenty-first century. Tom has twenty-five arguments since October 2000 and twenty-eight arguments total. Ahead of him is David C. Fredrick, who has argued three cases this Term, thirty-two since October 2000, and forty all-time.

The following non-federal government attorneys have at least two arguments through January:

  • Gregory Garre: 4
  • Jeffrey Fisher: 3
  • David C. Frederick: 3
  • Tom Goldstein: 3
  • Neal Katyal: 2
  • Seth Waxman: 2

    A quick perusal of the cert.-stage briefs for the rest of the Term shows a familiar trend. Repeat players like Clement, Waxman, Blatt, Rosenkranz, and others show up on many briefs, and we are likely to see even more talent brought in at the merit stage as those briefs are filed and as the remaining cases are granted for the Term (for the record, I think there will be about five more petitions granted for OT12).


  • 2 Responses to “Advocate Watch”

    1. 1 Ryan Koopmans

      Here’s an interestning follow-up post: Take the 10 attorneys who have argued the most in private practice since 2000 and calculate their petition granted to petition filed ratio.

    2. 2 Kedar Bhatia

      Ryan, that’s a great idea. I’ll try it out using paid petitions that have shown up on Westlaw, and I think it would be reasonable to omit all petitions filed advocates were in the Office of the Solicitor General.


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