In March, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison partner Roberta ­Kaplan made her U.S. Supreme Court debut when she argued on behalf of an octogenarian widow challenging the constitutionality of the
Defense of Marriage Act. Kaplan joins the ranks of other Am Law
lawyers who have made their maiden arguments before the high court on landmark cases. Here are a few notable other examples.
CASE: Time Inc. v. Hill
DATE OF ARGUMENT: April 27, 1966
(reargued October 18–19, 1966)
Then at Nixon, Mudge, Rose, Guthrie & ­Alexander, the future president represented Hill, the subject of a Life magazine article, and came up short as the court
expanded First ­Amendment protection for the press.
CASE: Clinton v. Jones
DATE OF ARGUMENT: January 13, 1997
Then at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, Bennett
defended President Bill Clinton, arguing that he had ­immunity from Paula Jones’s sexual harassment lawsuit. The court ruled against Clinton, allowing the lawsuit to proceed. (The case was eventually settled out of court.) Bennett is currently a partner at Hogan Lovells.
KIM MARTIN LEWIS
CASE: Central Virginia Community College v. Katz
DATE OF ARGUMENT: October 31, 2005
The Dinsmore Shohl partner argued in a case where the court had to interpret the breadth of the bankruptcy clause. In a 5–to–4 vote, Lewis prevailed as the court held that states couldn’t invoke sovereign immunity to avoid being sued in bankruptcy proceedings.
CASE: Hamdan v. Rumsfeld
DATE OF ARGUMENT: March 28, 2006
Now a partner at Hogan Lovells, Katyal was a Georgetown Law professor when he represented a Guantánamo Bay detainee
challenging the legality of the military commissions established to try him. Katyal won, kicking off a Supreme Court advocacy career that has seen him argue 17 cases.
CASE: Padilla v. Kentucky
DATE OF ARGUMENT: October 13, 2009
Kinnaird, a Paul Hastings litigation partner, represented a Honduran-born legal immigrant’s Sixth Amendment challenge to his guilty plea, arguing that his previous attorney failed to warn him that he could be deported. The court ruled for Kinnaird’s client, expanding the responsibilities of criminal lawyers to their clients.
THEODORE BOUTROUS JR.
CASE: Wal-Mart v. Dukes
DATE OF ARGUMENT: March 29, 2011
Boutrous, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher’s appellate cochair, made the most of his debut, undoing a gender discrimination class action against Wal-Mart that was the largest class action ever to be certified. In doing so, the court tightened the requirements for future class actions.