Last fall, about a dozen new attorneys joined Kellogg, Huber, Hansen, Todd, Evans & Figel. More will be coming on board this fall. And the Washington boutique that was launched 19 years ago may soon no longer be boutique.
“It has been a busy time,” said the 60-plus-lawyer firm’s most high-profile appellate litigator, David Frederick.
“Busy” describes Frederick himself. He and partner Aaron Panner have argued four cases during the current U.S. Supreme Court term — two each. In just the past four years, Frederick alone has argued 16 high court cases — a remarkable number for a small firm that cannot boast of a separate appellate practice group.
Frederick also is active in state and federal appellate courts and is the co-director of the University of Texas School of Law’s Supreme Court clinic. “I’m representing a doctor in the appeal of one of the biggest verdicts of patent infringement against Johnson & Johnson, and the state of Vermont in the closure of the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant.” Earlier this year, he won a reversal in the California Court of Appeal in a consumer case against Chevron Corp.
The appeals come from a range of sources. He gets 90 percent of his cases from referrals by lawyers around the country. “We have internally generated appeals, but I tend not to do those,” he said. “We have so many talented lawyers that they will typically handle their own appeals.”
Also no stranger to the Supreme Court are partners Michael Kellogg, Geoffrey Klineberg and Scott Angstreich. During the current term, Frederick won a unanimous decision in Pacific Operators Offshore v. Valladolid but lost, 6-3, in Kurns v. Railroad Friction Products Corp., a pre-emption challenge. Panner won unanimously in Kappos v. Hyatt, and was awaiting the outcome in First American Financial Corp. v. Edwards.
Frederick already has an argument on next term’s docket: Lozman v. City of Riviera Beach, Fla., a maritime case in which he will face Jeffrey Fisher of Stanford Law School’s Supreme Court clinic.
An alumnus of the Office of the Solicitor General and a former Supreme Court clerk, Frederick is author of the 2003 book Supreme Court and Appellate Advocacy. West Publishing, he said, has approached him for a new project. “The aim is to do a full-blown appellate advocacy book that does brief writing as well as argument,” he said. He hopes to do some drafting this summer because the fall is going to be “tremendously busy.” — Marcia Coyle