Who’s On The Case: Successful Cert Petitions 2017


Publish Date:
November 29, 2017
  • Feldman, Adam
Empirical SCOTUS
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The Supreme Court has its calendar set through January 2018 with ten cases already accepted for argument that are as of yet unscheduled.  The total number of case grants so far is 53, and with consolidated cases this will lead to 47 arguments.  This puts the Court on pace for one of the slowest grant rates in recent history.  Petitions have not dropped in number though.  With upwards of 8,000 petitions filed each year, this creates an atmosphere of increasingly fierce competition for the justices’ time.  Since several attorneys have more than one case granted for argument during the current term, fewer than 50 attorneys of record currently have arguments slated for Supreme Court oral argument.

This post looks at those attorneys. It examines who has filed successful petitions for the current term. It also tracks these attorneys’ success at bringing cases to the Court on cert since the 2013 term. Many of these attorneys are regulars before the Court; members of the colloquially dubbed Supreme Court Bar of elite attorneys.

So far this term, three attorneys were both counsel of record on at least one successful Supreme Court cert petition and and listed as an attorney on three granted petitions.  These attorneys are Jeffrey Fisher and Pamela Karlan from the Stanford Supreme Court Litigation Clinic and Williams & Connolly’s Kannon Shanmugam.  Shanmugam was the only attorney acting as counsel of record on all three petitions, in: Digital Realty Trust, Inc. v. Somers, Dahda v. United States of America, and Ernst & Young LLP v. Morris.  For the professors from the Stanford Supreme Court Litigation Clinic Jeffrey Fisher was listed as counsel of record in Currier v. Commonwealth of Virginia and Jesner v. Arab Bank, PLC, while Pamela Karlan was listed as counsel of record in Lozman v. The City of Riviera Beach, Florida.

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