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WASHINGTON � As the Supreme Court’s argument docket slowly shrinks, competition for cases within the growing Supreme Court bar becomes more intense, and lawyers who capture even one argument in a term likely feel as though the appellate gods have smiled on their practices. The gods more than smiled on one high court practitioner last term: Maureen E. Mahoney, head of the appellate and constitutional practice groups at Latham & Watkins. Mahoney not only argued more cases than any other private practitioner � a total of four � but she won three of the four and all in a variety of areas of the law. A former deputy solicitor general, Mahoney won reversals in the term just ended in: Rockwell International v. U.S., reversing a whistleblower’s victory under the federal False Claims Act after finding he was not an “original source.” Safeco v. Burr; Geico v. Edo, holding that Safeco Insurance Co. did not violate the Fair Credit Reporting Act and although Geico may have violated that law, it did not do so “recklessly,” Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Ass’n v. Brentwood Academy, holding that the TSSAA’s anti-recruiting rule does not violate the First Amendment rights of Brentwood, which had voluntarily joined the TSSAA and had agreed to abide by the rule. Her only defeat came in MedImmune v. Genentech, allowing a patent licensee to bring a declaratory judgment action challenging a patent’s validity without first breaching a contract or failing to pay licensing fees. But, by seeking an affirmance, she was bucking a trend in the high court, which has been reversing patent decisions by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in the last several terms. This term, the justices reversed that circuit in all three patent cases. Close on Mahoney’s heels in number of cases argued were three other veteran Supreme Court litigators with three cases each: Theodore B. Olson of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher; Carter G. Phillips of Sidley Austin, and Seth P. Waxman of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr. The court remains stingy in granting argument time to amicus parties, with the exception of the U.S. government and the states.

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