SL&P has an interesting post and comment thread on the issue of whether attorneys for criminal defendants are out of their league when arguing before the Supreme Court, and are unprepared or file briefs that are not comprehensive?
This raises a few issues:
- If the U.S. Supreme Court is so great, why does the quality of advocacy matter?;
- Why is it that I constantly hear judges tell lawyers not to file long briefs, and to not mention certain issues? (Is it because they are not as smart as the judges on the US Supreme Court, who will always get long, comprehensive briefs – at least from the party that seeks to jail or execute people with greater ease.);
- Why does Law.com seem to always reach the conclusion that lawyers for large firms or the government are genetically superior, even if they are first-timers at the Supreme Court;
- Should the U.S. Supreme Court institute real qualifications for its bar. For example, should it require that all counsel have “substantially prevailed” in at least five cases from Circuit Courts of appeal, and that in two of those cases, the counsel obtained a reversal of the lower court, and that in at least two of those cases, counsel represented someone besides the government?