Empirical SCOTUS: Attorneys and firms for the 2017 term

The present term at the Supreme Court has been something but everyday. With two argued cases currently dismissed, the justices are down to 61 argued cases for possible signed choices. This would tie last term for the fewest signed choices in the modern court era. Not only are the cases couple of and far in between, but the court’s rate in determining cases is exceedingly slow. The justices have done 32 signed choices so far with 29 however pending, so they however have to generate views in virtually 50 % of the argued cases, with just in excess of 10 p.c of the term remaining.

With so couple of overall cases, 1 could assume the similar team of elite Supreme Court lawyers that has come to be a mainstay of Supreme Court observe in excess of the earlier 10 years to continue monopolizing the balance of the court’s deserves docket. This has mainly established accurate this term, despite the fact that with some exceptions. This post seems to be at the lawyers who argued cases before the court this calendar year and then at the counsel of history on deserves and amicus briefs.

Most important parties’ representation

Despite the fact that largely well-identified Supreme Court repeat gamers, the most regular arguing lawyers this term also incorporated some lawyers who have had an escalating hand in Supreme Court cases in new terms.

Click graph to enlarge.

Paul Clement was the main oral advocate before the court this term with six appearances, covering virtually 10 p.c of this term’s argued cases. His rely surpasses even people of Office of the Solicitor Normal lawyers Noel Francisco, Jeffrey Wall and Michael Dreeben. Ohio’s solicitor standard, Eric Murphy, argued 4 cases. He did not argue in the Supreme Court last term. Alongside with OSG lawyers and Supreme Court regulars Jeffrey Fisher and Neal Katyal, Stris & Maher’s Daniel Geyser and Texas Solicitor Normal Scott Keller had a few arguments apiece. Geyser’s presence is primarily notable since it highlights the escalating profile of this boutique appellate company before the court (Stris & Maher is not new to the court, even so, as named husband or wife Peter Stris largely handled the firm’s Supreme Court litigation in the earlier.).

Concentrating on counsel of history in cases in accordance to Supreme Court dockets, the following figure demonstrates the repeat-player counsel of history for the term with OSG lawyers taken out. Mainly because these are gleaned from Supreme Court dockets, they do not always match the arguing lawyers in just about every circumstance.

Click graph to enlarge.

Several, but not all, of these lawyers ended up top rated oral advocates this term, such as the most regular counsel of history, Paul Clement. Even even though he argued only two cases, Orrick’s Josh Rosenkranz was counsel of history in five cases. Rosenkranz is followed by William & Connolly’s Kannon Shanmugam, who argued a few cases this term. Numerous of the other lawyers in this figure are well identified to the court, nonetheless numerous of the point out authorities lawyers, such as Loren AliKhan for the District of Columbia, David Franklin for Illinois and Matthew McGuire for Virginia, each argued their to start with cases before the court this term.

An additional way to glimpse at attorney participation to assess this term to last term. The subsequent figure seems to be at the involvement of the most active lawyers of history this term in comparison to last.

Click graph to enlarge.

Daniel Geyser had the biggest soar this calendar year, escalating 200 p.c as he moved from 1 circumstance as counsel of history last term to a few this term. Shanmugam and Clement both of those doubled their counts from last term, with six and 4 cases as counsel of history respectively. Rosenkranz went from a few cases last term to five this term. On the other conclude of the spectrum, Katyal moved from six cases last term to a few this term and Fisher went from 4 cases last term to a few this term.

The companies of history on the deserves counts largely parallel people of the lawyers of history, nonetheless a couple of companies are notable since numerous of their lawyers participated in cases before the justices this term.

Click graph to enlarge.

The quantities for Kirkland & Ellis are pushed by Paul Clement. Orrick’s quantities are commonly pushed by Josh Rosenkranz, despite the fact that numerous other Orrick lawyers, such as Bob Loeb and Kelsi Corkran, also argued cases this term. Multiple lawyers ended up counsel of history on the briefs for numerous other Supreme Court powerhouses, such as Jenner & Block, Jones Working day, Gibson Dunn and Goldstein & Russell. Alongside with significant and smaller law companies, numerous states participated before the court in several cases this term, as did interest teams this sort of as the American Civil Liberties Union and the Pacific Authorized Basis.

Several of these top rated teams and companies also observed jumps in their participation from the 2016 term.

Click graph to enlarge.

Jones Working day and Williams & Connolly manufactured the biggest jumps this term, going from two cases last term to 4 this term. With Paul Clement’s improved participation this term, Kirkland & Ellis also observed a soar in cases, as did Orrick and Stanford’s Supreme Court Litigation Clinic.


Merits participation only tells element of the tale, since couple of trends in the Supreme Court are extra significant than the rise of amicus filings. The sheer quantity of this sort of briefs filed each term eats up a lot of the court’s sources. (A co-author of mine, Aaron-Andrew Bruhl, and I proposed using plagiarism software as a partial option to this challenge in a recent paper.) This change in sources is possible with the court’s declining caseload, as the court is on rate to hear only about 40 p.c of the selection of cases this term that it listened to in the early 1980s.

There are many explanations for the rise in amicus filings, likely the most notable of which is that it began as a conservative backlash to liberal choices close to the time of the Warren court. No matter what the clarification, about 890 amicus briefs ended up filed on the deserves in cases this term. This blog post profiled amicus participation close to the term’s midpoint, and there have been a lot of modifications due to the fact then. The lay of the land at the conclude of the term for counsel of history who filed amicus briefs seems to be as follows:

Click graph to enlarge.

Even though Ilya Shapiro led attorney filings in the before post, the two lawyers with the most filings this term ended up Mayer Brown’s Andrew Pincus and the Constitutional Accountability Center’s Brianne Gorod. Shapiro finished the term with the third most amicus briefs, followed by Gupta Wessler’s named husband or wife Deepak Gupta. Gupta’s escalating presence in the Supreme Court, like that of Daniel Geyser from Stris & Maher, is specifically notable since of the smaller sizing and boutique character of the company.

Several of these top rated filers improved their amicus counts this term from last, but none as a lot as Gupta.

Click graph to enlarge.

Gupta jumped from 1 amicus filing last term to seven this term. Barbara Underwood on behalf of New York point out moved from zero amicus filings last term to five this term. The other lawyers on this record had extra average but however noteworthy increases, such as Shapiro, who went from 4 briefs last term to 8 this term, and Pincus, who went from six last term to 11 this term.

Related to the companies of history on the deserves, some of the top rated amicus companies on the deserves are pushed by 1 attorney’s participation, although other companies have extra distributed sources.

Click graph to enlarge.

Numerous of the briefs by WilmerHale ended up authored by lead appellate attorney Seth Waxman, for occasion, despite the fact that numerous other of their lawyers ended up also counsel of history on amicus briefs, such as Alan Schoenfeld, Jason Hirsch, Mark Fleming, John Walsh and Philip Anker. Jenner & Block had a mix of filers as well, such as Jessica Ring Amunson, Adam Unikowsky, Joshua Segal, Matthew Hellman, Lindsay Harrison, ex-Performing Solicitor Normal Ian Gershengorn and Sam Hirsch. Similarly, Gibson Dunn’s amicus counsel incorporated Douglas Cox, David Debold, Mark Perry, Ted Olson, Matthew McGill and Theodore Boutrous. This mix of participation at the company degree demonstrates both of those firms’ and clients’ willingness to use a diverse established of lawyers in this sort of instances.

Several of these companies with top rated participation concentrations observed increases from the 2016 term, despite the fact that many others observed dips.

Click graph to enlarge.

As with lawyers of history on amicus briefs, the greatest soar for companies was Deepak Gupta’s company Gupta Wessler. Other huge jumps include that of the Cato Institute, which moved from 4 briefs last term to nine this term, and Patterson Belknap, which moved from 4 briefs last term to 8 this term. Right after a large term in 2016, Jones Working day observed a decline in amicus filings this term, likely from 14 in 2016 to 8 in 2017.

Despite the fact that often the teams sponsoring amicus briefs have their have in-home counsel generate their briefs, in many instances outside counsel are employed. The subsequent figure seems to be at the to start with named team sponsoring at least a few amicus briefs on the deserves this term.

Click graph to enlarge.

One of the most prolific amicus filers in excess of new several years, the Countrywide Association of Criminal Defense Legal professionals tops the record of teams, with 13 briefs as the to start with named team. The Cato Institute and the Chamber of Commerce, two top rated filers for the earlier numerous several years, filed the next and third most amicus briefs, with the ACLU and Pacific Authorized rounding out the top rated five. The ACLU and Pacific Authorized also participated in a few and two cases on the deserves respectively.

Some of these briefs have a significant affect on the Supreme Court’s views. For illustration, the greater part and individual views in Jesner v. Arab Bank cited amicus briefs a overall of 20 situations. Even in cases in which the briefs are not cited, they may well however affect the court’s final items.

Merits lawyers, as a result of efficient arguments and briefs, also have the potential to sway the justices’ choices, and their arguments are at extremely least mirrored in people choices. Justice Elena Kagan’s greater part opinion in Periods v. Dimaya cited the oral argument on 4 occasions. Despite the fact that it is not possible to know no matter if oral arguments and briefs change the justices’ sights or just verify their suppositions, they conduct required roles in the genesis of the court’s jurisprudence. This term we observed both of those veteran lawyers and rising stars consider lead roles before the justices. These lawyers came from smaller and huge companies, with numerous boutique companies taking on an outsized presence. One thing that will be attention-grabbing to keep track of in terms to occur is no matter if this sort of smaller, centered appellate methods begin to consider on greater roles before the court. It will also be intriguing to see how significant companies try to sustain their presence in the court with these further lawyers vying for the greatest cases.

This post was initially printed at Empirical SCOTUS.

Posted in Empirical SCOTUS, Highlighted

Recommended Citation:
Adam Feldman,
Empirical SCOTUS: Lawyers and companies for the 2017 term,
SCOTUSblog (May well. 31, 2018, 2:13 PM),

Shares 0

Post Author: gupta

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *