“Common sense beats a footnote every time,” writes Kirkland & Ellis’ Paul Clement, when detailing the practice advice he’d give his younger self.  “Focus on what’s right and true, not what’s clever and shrewd,” writes Don Verrilli, of Munger, Tolles & Olson.

The stars of the appellate bar featured in this year’s Appellate Hot List special report practice what they preach. Over the past year, they won key matters before the U.S. Supreme Court and federal courts of appeal that tackled everything from religious freedom to mass transit advertising to jurisdictional issues involving the Clean Water Act to the music of the mighty Marvin Gaye. For more on their stories, “Keep on [reading.]” — Lisa Helem