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David Frederick is not only an acclaimed appellate advocate, he literally wrote the book on appellate advocacy. Frederick’s Supreme Court and Appellate Advocacy was published last year by West Publishing. The book deals with every aspect of oral advocacy before appellate courts and contains an unusual recommendation in its foreword: Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg lauds the work as “offering sound advice on preparing and delivering oral arguments capable of capturing the Court’s sympathetic attention.” Frederick, now a partner at D.C.’s Kellogg, Huber, Hansen, Todd & Evans, explains that in a six-month period in 2001, he had argued three Supreme Court cases for the solicitor general’s office — as well as an arduous government appeal before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit sitting en banc in the Microsoft Corp. antitrust case. “I was so busy that I basically disappeared for a while,” he recalls. “A couple of friends wondered aloud: What was that like? And the friends suggested that I write a book about advocacy, cleanse the government experience, and add to my résumé.” Frederick, 43, was planning to leave the government around that time for the Kellogg, Huber trial and appellate boutique, he says, so he took some time between jobs to do the book, which was published in early 2003. It wasn’t Frederick’s first book on an important legal subject. In 1994, he published Rugged Justice: The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the American West, 1891-1941, which Georgetown law professor Richard Lazarus has called “a wonderful book.” Frederick, a 1989 honors graduate of the University of Texas Law School, clerked for Judge Joseph Sneed on the 9th Circuit and for Supreme Court Justice Byron White. In five years in the SG’s office, he argued 12 cases at the Court. Frederick’s most important Supreme Court case was 2000′s United States v. Locke, in which the Court unanimously reversed the 9th Circuit and held that Washington state’s oil-spill regulations were pre-empted by the comprehensive federal regulatory scheme governing oil tankers. At the solicitor general’s office, Frederick found a bit of an informal specialty in maritime cases like Locke, but also developed expertise in other areas like criminal law. He picked up a good deal of antitrust expertise quite rapidly in early 2001 when he and SG colleague Jeffrey Minear were tapped to argue the two-day D.C. Circuit appeal of the antitrust verdict against Microsoft. By all accounts, Frederick has made a successful transition from being a government lawyer to representing private clients. “We’ve had several cases where plaintiffs are seeking Supreme Court review of a ruling against them,” says Lori Martin, first vice president and assistant general counsel of Merrill Lynch Investment Managers. “David advises us on whether we ought to file a brief. He often encourages us not to file when we’ve won below, thus giving up the possibility of thousands of dollars of fees.” Martin also says her group relies on Frederick’s “unparalleled” judgment about appellate courts to help frame a case in lower courts in order “to prevent a state supreme court from being interested at a later point.” Frederick says every top-notch appellate advocate needs to distill a case, no matter how complex, into “two or three sentences that are clear to someone who has not studied the matter copiously.” He learned that technique from his law professor at Texas, the late Charles Alan Wright, who would always ask his wife, a nonlawyer, to be his sounding board before an argument. “If I can explain to a nonlawyer what the case is and why my arguments are convincing, and do it within five minutes, then I know I am well-prepared to argue,” Frederick says.

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