Tell us about your top U.S. Supreme Court or federal circuit court victory over the past year and how you and your team achieved the win. In NLRB v. SW General, we persuaded the Supreme Court, 6-2, to invalidate unlawful appointments of temporary acting officials. The Vacancies Act allows presidents to appoint acting officials, but a permanent nominee cannot serve as an acting official without Senate approval. For 18 years, presidents from both parties ignored this limitation, and the Senate never objected. We convinced the court that the act’s text barred this practice. We also neutralized the government’s reliance on legislative history, and obtained amicus support from those involved in the act’s passage.
How did your firm approach appellate success over the past year? We are often engaged early to shape strategy and frame appellate issues. We work with subject-matter experts in practices throughout the firm to best present arguments in specialized areas to generalist judges. And we draw on our deep appellate bench to brainstorm and refine ideas.
What practice advice would you give your younger self? 1. Become an expert in something—a subject area, court, type of case. Then do it again. Keep reinventing yourself. 2. Understand your client’s objective, which often transcends a particular legal issue. You’ll become a more trusted adviser, better strategist and more effective voice for your client.
Responses submitted by Shay Dvoretzky, a partner at Jones Day.