Neal Katyal, hands clasped, back straight, feet flat on the floor — his fidgeting thumbs the only movement in his body — faces a speakerphone in a near-vacant room, ready to moot.

Katyal, a law professor (and, hence, the antithesis of the standard big-firm luminaries of the Supreme Court bar), had already achieved his stunning Supreme Court victory, Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, nearly a month earlier. So a visitor might be forgiven if he were to grab Katyal by the collar, look straight into his bright and pleasant face, and exhort: “Neal, you won. It’s over … . Stop mooting!”

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