Lawyering in the Supreme Court

At the beginning of the Supreme Court Term, Marcia Coyle, who is one of the Supreme Court reporters for the National Law Journal, wrote an article about the upcoming Supreme Court Term. And one of the things that she focused on was the unusual number of cases before the Supreme Court this year involving issues of lawyering and legal ethics. According to her count, there were six of these cases—everything from whether or not a court order forcing the disclosure of attorney-client privileged materials is appealable to the level of effective counsel in a death penalty case. I had the great privilege of arguing two of those cases myself this fall. One of them involved attorney’s fees, and the other one involved prosecutorial misconduct. And so the genesis for today’s event was that the good professor could not help but notice that I had both of these cases involving lawyering, and asked if I wanted to talk about those two cases and lawyering in front of the Supreme Court more broadly. So that is what I hope to do: talk a little bit about Kenny A.—the attorney’s fee case which is still sub judice before the Supreme Court. I would also like to talk about the McGhee case, which would be pending before the Supreme Court except that a very favorable settlement was reached right around the beginning of the New Year. Then I will add a few more broad thoughts about arguing before the Supreme Court of the United States.

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