Tell us about your top U.S. Supreme Court or federal appeals court victory over the past year and how you and your team achieved the win.
In South Dakota v. Wayfair, Goldstein & Russell successfully convinced the Supreme Court to overrule Quill v. North Dakota, allowing States to require internet retailers to collect sales tax just as local retailers do. That historic victory marked the culmination of a multi-year, nationwide effort [which I] spearheaded, with help from veteran Supreme Court advocate Thomas Goldstein. Building the litigation from the ground up, [we] helped craft the law at the heart of the case (and other similar laws around the country), and briefed the case from its incipiency all the way to the Supreme Court. [I] wrote the successful petition for certiorari in under three weeks, which allowed the case to be heard before Justice Kennedy’s possible retirement.
How did your firm approach appellate success over the past year?
The most successful advocacy is thoughtful and focused. We start with deep knowledge of the law, record and policy issues surrounding a case. Then, we determine which judges are persuadable and rely on decades of collective experience to craft presentations tailored to those decision makers.
What practice advice would you give your younger self?
Wayfair was a team effort that could only succeed because so many people worked together on this longstanding goal. Young lawyers need to learn to balance trusting their own instincts with the benefits of seeking input and constructive criticism from a broad team of peers.
Responses submitted by Eric Citron, a partner at Goldstein & Russell.