Sunday, August 16, 2009

Supreme Court calls on former clerks . . . Oh, and by the way, we're back

After a fairly long--and for us, taxing--hiatus, the team at Blackbook Legal is back in business and ready to dive into the interesting legal issues of the day. We want to really thank all of our avid readers who have stuck it out with us during our brief hibernation. While our site traffic declined slightly in the past few months, many still perused our old threads, and kept the discussions alive. Moreover, we have a substantial number of e-mail requests for articles which we will publish in the due course.

As a cool kick-off article, I thought I would direct readers to a story I saw over at The article discusses the custom practice of Supreme Court Justices requesting that former clerks argue cases that others have simply abandoned. Justice Stevens provides the most recent example of this practice by his offer to Amanda Cohen Leiter, former clerk and current professor at Catholic University's Columbus School of law, to make her first oral argument before the Supreme Court. So this is one cool long-term perk of landing a Supreme Court clerkship that
[m]ost often . . . happens because the government no longer embraces the position it would be expected to espouse at argument. Rather than dismiss the case, the Court will name a lawyer -- almost always a former clerk -- to advance the orphaned argument, guaranteeing a full airing of both sides.
Indeed, esteemed appellate practitioners like John Roberts and Maureen Mahoney got their first case assignments this same way. Check out the article.

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