Supreme Court

The Tenth Justice Fantasy SCOTUS League.jpgEd. note: ATL has teamed up with FantasySCOTUS, the premier Supreme Court fantasy league. (For more background, check out this WSJ Law Blog post.) On Fridays, the 10th Justice will analyze league voting to predict how the Supreme Court may decide upcoming cases.
Welcome to the third installment of Predictions of the 10th Justice, brought to you by FantasySCOTUS.net. The league has over 2,000 members, who have made predictions on all cases currently pending before the Supreme Court. Recently, Justice Stephen G. Breyer was asked in an interview about FantasySCOTUS.net. His response: “I don’t think I will bet on it.”

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Fantasy SCOTUS from the 10th Justice: Grading Forecasts For The First Four Cases of OT09, Plus Prediction Tips”

Supreme Court 6 Above the Law blog.jpgOur obsession with Supreme Court clerks is longstanding, dating back to our blogging for Underneath Their Robes (where we used to profile SCOTUS clerks). And it seems we’re not alone in lusting after the Elect.

Apparently oral argument makes people think of other oral activities. Check out this “Missed Connection” from Craigslist:

Law clerk at SCOTUS honest services argument – w4m (Supreme Court Building)

We were both there to hear the honest services arguments, which were fascinating. You were siting with the law clerks, I think, so I’m wondering if you’re one of them. You looked slightly older and more mature than the rest of the people you were sitting with. You’re quite handsome and I enjoyed watching you as you followed the arguments. Too bad you left at the case break–I’d been trying to catch your eye. (I was sitting in the front row of reserved seating.) I promise that if you agree to meet me for dinner that I won’t mention Black or Weyhrauch. What say you?

If you’ll forgive the quibbling, this posting is subpar; it’s missing some information. First, the poster has omitted her age (which typically goes after the “w4m”). Second, she offers little identifying information about herself (e.g., “I was wearing a red scarf”).

Third, she offers little identifying information about the clerk, other than that he’s “more mature” and “quite handsome.” We suspect that every male Supreme Court clerk fancies himself “more mature” and “quite handsome.”

Typically a missed connection involves, well, a “connection.” The lack of identifying information suggests that no such connection was forged here. But we admire the poster’s effort.

This is not, by the way, the first time a CL “Missed Connection” has arisen out of a Supreme Court argument.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places? A Craigslist ‘Missed Connection’ at the SCOTUS”

Federalist Society high heels fabulous.jpgSensible shoes are for liberal chicks. Say hello to fabulous Federalist footwear!
As you may have noticed, from our two posts late on Monday night and one from Tuesday morning, we’re engaging in some after-the-fact blogging of last week’s Federalist Society National Lawyers Convention.
As in past years, the social highlight of the conference was the Thursday night banquet (black tie optional; and many availed themselves of the option, ’cause that’s how conservatives roll). The speaker at the dinner was none other than Justice Samuel A. Alito, who delivered an insightful and hilarious speech that was a delight to listen to. Just as one might say of, say, a newscast by Jon Stewart, much of the entertainment value was in the delivery — Justice Alito is so dry and deadpan, and yet his remarks make you bust out laughing.
Interestingly enough, we haven’t come across many news accounts of Justice Alito’s speech. There was also no video recording allowed at the address. So we feel we can add some value with this write-up, despite its belated nature.
There may have been some confusion over the ground rules governing reporting about the speech. From the BLT:

Justice Samuel Alito Jr. spoke to the Federalist Society [last Thursday] night, but photos of him doing so are hard to come by. That’s because photographers other than the Federalist Society’s own were barred from the event. Keith Appell, a spokesman for the Federalist Society, said cameras were prohibited by Alito’s security detail….

Kathy Arberg, the court spokeswoman, said “The justice’s policy was that the event was open to still cameras and pencil press,” and that the Federalist Society was informed of that policy before the event.

Well, photos from the event aren’t hard to come by on Above the Law. Nobody told us that we couldn’t take photographs — so we did. And, as members of the “pencil press,” we jotted down notes in our reporter’s notebook. (We left the laptop at the hotel that night.)
Check out a slideshow of our pictures, along with a discussion of Justice Alito’s highly engaging and entertaining address, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “The Federalist Society Annual Dinner: Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!”

Mayer Brown LLP new logo.jpgAs we mentioned earlier this week, Steve Sanders — a fourth-year associate at Mayer Brown, no relation to the 90210 character — argued before the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday.
When we emailed him on Wednesday to set up an interview, we received this rather straightforward Out of Office message:

I’ll be traveling on client and professional business Monday, 11/2 through Saturday, 11/7. I will have access to email, but my response may be delayed. Thanks.

How modest! If we had been in Sanders’s shoes, we would have used this Out of Office auto-reply:

Oyez, bitchez!!! Today I’m arguing before the freakin’ Supreme Court of the United States.
Later, haters!!!

But that’s not Steve Sanders’s style. He is dignified and professional, as we discovered when we caught up with him by phone after his argument.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “A Mayer Brown Associate’s Supreme Court Debut:
A Post-Argument Recap”

Mayer Brown LLP new logo.jpgAs we mentioned in our recent open thread on appellate work, Mayer Brown has one of the best appellate and Supreme Court practices in the country. The firm is also known for being rather democratic when distributing SCOTUS arguments; they tend to spread the argument wealth around, instead of funneling all the arguments to a single prominent advocate.
Steve Sanders Mayer Brown.jpgMake that very democratic about doling out SCOTUS arguments. Today Steve Sanders, a fourth-year associate in Mayer’s Chicago office, argued the case of Pottawattamie County v. McGhee before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Of course, Biglaw associates have appeared before the high court before. E.g., Lindsay Harrison of Jenner & Block, who also argued — and won — her first case at One First Street. But one thing that’s unusual about Pottawattamie County is that it’s a paying case, not a pro bono matter.
Sanders has some serious opposition. Read more, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Mayer Brown Associate Makes His Supreme Court Debut”

Ruth Bader Ginsburg cancer surgery.jpgThe Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Health Watch continues. This just in, from the AP:

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who had cancer surgery earlier this year, was briefly hospitalized overnight after having a bad reaction to some medicine.

A statement from the court says Ginsburg was taken to the Washington Hospital Center Wednesday night and released Thursday morning.

Doctors say Ginsburg had an adverse reaction to a sleeping aid combined with cold medicine. She took the medicine in preparation for an overnight flight to London, but was taken off the airplane after she experienced extreme drowsiness causing her to fall from her seat.

At least she didn’t fall asleep on the bench this time. We’d wish RBG a speedy recovery, but it seems that she has already recovered.
Ginsburg Briefly Hospitalized, Released Thurs. [Associated Press]
Earlier: Breaking: Justice Ginsburg Hospitalized
Update: Justice Ginsburg Is Back on the Job

Christopher Christie Christopher J Christie Chris Christie fat heavyset overweight obese.jpg* At the Supreme Court, much ado about a cross. [Washington Post (Robert Barnes); Washington Post (Dana Milbank)]
* Former Heller Ehrman partners deny that the firm was insolvent in 2007. [Am Law Daily]
* The new Honduran government, which came to power through a coup, has hired lawyers and law firms — including Lanny Davis, who recently moved from Orrick to McDermott — to defend its legitimacy. [New York Times]
* And there may be more work for antitrust lawyers, thanks to a new Justice Department invesitgation of IBM. [Reuters]
* Key Democratic lawyers agree to allow Guantanamo detainees to be transferred to the U.S. for trial. [Washington Post]
* Prosecutors drop one victim from the case, but Judge Herman “Who Needs A Spanking?” Thomas still faces charges dozens of counts related to 14 other victims. [CNN]
* No, it’s not your imagination: Gov. Jon Corzine’s campaign commercials are making fun of former U.S. Attorney Chris Christie (pictured) for being fat. (Disclosure: We worked as an AUSA under Christie from 2003 until 2006.) [New York Times]

justice oconnor.jpgRetired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor is not really retired yet. “I am more busy in retirement than before,” she told Above the Law in a recent interview. One of her myriad projects is Our Courts, a non-profit organization that develops Web-based games to teach seventh- and eighth-graders about government. We spoke with Justice O’Connor recently for our piece for the Washington Post reviewing the games.
We had hoped to actually play the games with her, but it turns out she’s not much of a gamer. Not being the computer type, she hasn’t actually played the Web-based games herself. “I watched young people play it. They have a lot of fun. They’re actively engaged. I think it’s very exciting,” she told us.
Justice O’Connor has been touring the country to promote the games. She even stopped in to chat with Jon Stewart on the Daily Show. We got to catch up with her via conference call last month. We rung her up at One First Street — like some retired Biglaw partners, retired SCOTUS justices get to keep an office. After her secretary connected us, Justice O’Connor answered the phone: “Sandra Day O’Connor.”
We discovered that O’Connor is adamant about bringing an end to the election of judges in America. Read more from our interview, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Should Judicial Elections Be Abolished?
(Or: ATL chats with Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.)”

Sarbanes Oxley for Dummies Sarbox SOX book.jpgIs the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board unconstitutional? This admittedly boring-sounding entity has the important task of overseeing accounting firms, who in turn keep an eye on the balance sheets of corporate America, through such mechanisms as Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) compliance.
The constitutionality of SOX and the PCAOB is at issue in Free Enterprise Fund v. Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, one of the most important cases of the new Supreme Court term. As previously noted, the D.C. Circuit upheld the board’s constitutionality against a separation-of-powers challenge — but over a strong dissent by Article III rock star Brett Kavanaugh, which may have grabbed the justices’ attention.
Read more — and comment (anyone care to predict the result?) — over at Going Concern.
Is the PCAOB Going the Way of the Dodo? [Going Concern]
Earlier: The Sarbanes-Oxley Accounting Board: Not Long For This World?

Ruth Bader Ginsburg cancer surgery.jpgWe’re happy to report that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who was hospitalized last night after feeling lightheaded, was released from Washington Hospital Center this morning. The famously hardworking jurist “was at her desk by early afternoon, the court said.”
Welcome back, Justice Ginsburg!
Justice Ginsburg Home From Hospital [AP]
Earlier: Breaking: Justice Ginsburg Hospitalized

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