Monday, November 27, 2023

AFPD Andrew Adler argues 3rd case before SCOTUS

 The case is Brown v. U.S. and the issue is: Whether the "serious drug offense" definition in the Armed Career Criminal Act incorporates the federal drug schedules that were in effect at the time of the federal firearm offense or the federal drug schedules that were in effect at the time of the prior state drug offense.

Bloomberg has a nice article about Adler, his office (including support from Michael Caruso) and trend of FPDs arguing more cases:

Andrew Adler will make his third trip to the US Supreme Court lectern on Monday as one of a handful of federal public defenders to argue more than once.

Federal defenders from across the nation have argued at least one case every term except for one since at least 2000, according to Adler. Most often, it’s their first and only time in front of the justices.

With the Supreme Court hearing fewer and fewer cases each term, the criminal defense attorneys—like most first-time advocates—face intense pressure from elite law firms to turn over their Supreme Court cases to experienced advocates.

In response to that pressure, and to criticism from the justices, federal defenders have developed support systems to help prepare for a successful argument—both of which Adler took advantage of again this time around.

The Defender Supreme Court Resource & Assistance Panel, for example, partners first time advocates with federal defenders with high court experience.

The goal is to provide resources to offices that want to argue their cases themselves, according to Fran Pratt, an assistant federal public defender in the Eastern District of Virginia who co-chairs the group.

“I think the work product and advocacy has improved immeasurably, the best of both worlds,” said Michael Caruso, the federal public defender for the Southern District of Florida, which is based in Miami.



Henry Bell said...

Listening to a recording of the argument, you can hear that Andrew handled himself well. He did a hell of a job. His work is a credit to the FPD's office and the many lawyers there representing the indigent. I bet there were many of hours of preparation.

Henry Bell

Anonymous said...

Very cool! Other areas of law need this sort of system as well.

Anonymous said...

Adler is the man!

Anonymous said...

Appellate argument is definitely a completely different skill from convincing laypeople jurors, but it also matters less since most cases are decided on the briefs long before the hearings. I love a good appellate argument, but you don't want to "out-argue" the justices, and most their questions are to get something on the record rather than a genuine inquiry on the law. I think he has a great argument but he has a tough crowd.

Ivy Ginsberg said...

Congratulations, Andy Adler. What a thrice in a lifetime opportunity!

Anonymous said...

Delighted to hear of the federal defenders' moot court practice for their members, so as to allow FDs to appear and perform well in Supreme Court.