Wednesday, July 7, 2010

U.S. Supreme Court Insights

Supreme Court Lawyers.  Which lawyers in private practice argued the most cases before the U.S. Supreme Court this term?  Find out here.  If you're guessing the list is dominated by high court veterans at DC appellate boutiques and megafirms, you're on the right track.  No SoCal lawyers' names jumped out at me, but Stanford prof Jeffrey Fisher (right) led the law professor list with 2 arguments.

Summary Rulings.  The high court issued 77 signed opinions this last term, but also issued 12 "summary decisions in cases that have not been argued or fully briefed," reports Tony Mauro at the National Law Journal. 

Summary rulings "could represent a quiet and relatively painless effort" by Chief Justice Roberts (left) "to bulk up the docket without lengthy and expensive briefing and argument."

They may also indicate the court's increasing desire to correct legal errors that do not implicate broader legal issues or resolve splits of authority, the article notes.

Lawyering Cases.  "[N]early 20 percent of the Court's decision docket" -- 16 cases, of which 10 were fully briefed and argued -- were cases "involving how lawyers do their jobs," reports Marcia Coyle at the NLJ.  Experts noted the cases fall "into two broad categories:  limits on legal representation and protection from bad lawyering" and may indicate "'nothing short of a revolution'" in the field of lawyers' ethics."

(h/ts to How Appealing)