Raising the Bar: Elite Advocacy in Supreme Court Public Interest Litigation
43 Pages Posted: 6 May 2009 Last revised: 29 Nov 2009
Date Written: May 4, 2009
Highly experienced Supreme Court advocates are frequently believed to be influential in argument before the Court in a way that far outstrips the run-of-the-mill advocate. This paper tests that hypothesis with regard to a particular subset of "public law" or "public interest" cases. It finds that highly experienced advocates have become an enormous influence on the Court's public law cases, and offers a game-theoretic rationale for this influence - that the use of highly-experienced counsel serves as a "signal" to the Court that the preferable result is the one that the advocate is pushing. It also examines the effect on civil rights law (as a case study) that the Supreme Court Bar, as they're called, has, and proposes some possible solutions.
Keywords: Judicial Process, Supreme Court, Supreme Court Bar, Advocacy, Litigation
JEL Classification: K41, D74, D72
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation