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Given the odds against most lawyers ever arguing even one U.S. Supreme Court case, a lawyer in the private sector who argues two or more has to have “the stars aligned in a certain way,” chuckles veteran high court advocate Jeffrey S. Sutton of Jones, Day, Reavis & Pogue. For Sutton, a recent federal appellate court nominee, the stars not only lined up properly in the past term, but they shone brightly. He argued and won four cases — more than any other lawyer appearing before the justices. “It was an exceedingly busy and hectic year,” said Sutton, a partner in his firm’s Columbus, Ohio, office. “Two of the arguments were in one seating and that about did me in.” Sutton’s four cases were Lorillard Tobacco Co. v. Reilly, a First Amendment and pre-emption challenge to state restrictions on tobacco advertising (he represented Lorillard); Becker v. Montgomery, which asked whether an unsigned but timely notice of appeal must be dismissed (his pro bono client was the criminal defendant); Alexander v. Sandoval, a challenge to private suits under Title VI against states with programs having a disparate impact (he represented the state); and Board of Trustees, University of Alabama v. Garrett, on whether state employees can sue their states for violating the Americans With Disabilities Act (again, his client was the state). Close behind Sutton last term was Laurence Tribe of Harvard Law School. Tribe argued three cases — winning one, losing one and tying a third. He argued the first presidential election challenge on behalf of Vice President Al Gore, a commercial speech challenge involving the mushroom industry and The New York Times-free-lance writers challenge. In the class of lawyers with two Supreme Court cases were nine lawyers, five of whom won one and lost one: Carter G. Phillips of the Washington, D.C., office of Sidley Austin Brown & Wood; John G. Roberts Jr. of D.C.’s Hogan & Hartson; Michael H. Gottesman of Georgetown University Law Center; Walter H. Dellinger of the Washington, D.C., office of O’Melveny & Myers; and Thomas Goldstein of Washington, D.C. Theodore B. Olson of the Washington, D.C., office of Los Angeles’ Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher — now solicitor general — argued both challenges involving the Florida presidential election recount, winning the second challenge. The first challenge was sent back to the Florida Supreme Court for clarification of its decision. Joseph P. Klock Jr. of Miami’s Steel Hector & Davis also argued on behalf of Florida in those two cases. Also arguing related cases were Lucas Guttentag of the American Civil Liberties Union, who won two immigration challenges; and Edward W. Warren of the Washington, D.C., office of Chicago’s Kirkland & Ellis, who argued and lost a major environmental challenge.

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