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  A recent law review article documented the rise of recent former solicitors general as major players in Supreme Court advocacy. “They can leverage relationships and skills acquired as SG to enhance their likelihood of success at each litigation stage,” wrote author Matthew Sundquist. The two-week Supreme Court argument cycle that begins Nov. 28 would be a good test of that proposition. Three former solicitors general will be arguing during that period, including one case, PPL Montana v. Montana, in which two will face off against each other: Paul Clement versus his successor Gregory Garre. Garre, head of the appellate practice at Latham & Watkins, will be arguing twice in this cycle. Preparing for one argument is intense enough, Garre said, but getting ready for two in two weeks “certainly magnifies the challenge.” The Montana case, set for Dec. 7, is a hotly contested dispute over ownership of riverbeds that are used for hydroelectric power. Garre is representing Montana in the dispute, and he visited the state to get a better sense of the issue. Any case that involves 140-year-old doctrines and caused him to study the Lewis and Clark expedition, Garre said, is “pretty neat.” Clement will argue for the utility company PPL Montana. Garre will also be arguing Nov. 28 in Mims v. Arrow Financial Services, a federal jurisdiction case that has, in his words, “the twists and turns of a law school exam.” At issue is whether the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, which prohibits junk faxes and robocalls, creates a right of action in state or federal courts. Scott Nelson of Public Citizen will argue the consumer side in favor of access to federal courts. Seth Waxman of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr is the other former SG who will go before the Court in this cycle. Continuing the pro bono side of his practice, Waxman will be representing California death row inmate Kenneth Clair on the issue of when a defendant can replace his court-appointed attorney in a habeas proceeding. Ward Campbell, a California deputy attorney general, will argue for the state. This cycle also marks the debut of Sri Srinivasan, formerly with O’Melveny & Myers, as principal deputy SG. He’ll be arguing in Messerschmidt v. Millender as amicus to two California law enforcement officers in favor of qualified immunity for their role in executing a search warrant that turned out to be too broad. Veteran Wilmer advocate Paul Wolfson is representing the targets of the search. Tony Mauro can be contacted at [email protected].

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