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Over the past year, Mayer Brown's U.S. Supreme Court and appellate practice racked up wins in state and federal courts for longtime clients while empowering an associate's debut argument before the justices in Washington.

As national pre-emption counsel for Medtronic PLC, the firm took home two victories over the past six months in products liability cases argued by partner Andrew Tauber in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second and Tenth Circuits. Mayer Brown's Altria Group Inc. team has secured wins for their tobacco giant client in the Eleventh Circuit and Florida state courts, and brought nearly all of a 15-year-old consolidated personal injury suit's claims to an end with a win at the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals.

Partner Brian Netter scored a win for the District of Columbia Council in May, when the D.C. Circuit kicked a dispute over spending authority back to the local courts after the Mayer Brown's arguments for budget autonomy helped convince Mayor Muriel Bowser to reverse her predecessor's position in the case. "We have a long history of commitment to appeals and to waging the sorts of battles of thought leadership that can help move the law in our clients' directions," Netter said.

On Nov. 2, the firm's veteran advocate Andrew Pincus argued the class action case Spokeo Inc. v. Robins, adding to his more than two dozen appearances before the justices. Two days later, senior associate Michael Kimberly made his debut at the high court in Shapiro v. McManus, the election law case that tests the scope of three-judge panels.

Kimberly sees the Shapiro argument as a "capstone" to a year that he said yielded "a real embarrassment of riches" for his growing practice of paid and pro bono work. "I argued an Eighth Circuit case [American Farm Bureau Federation v. EPA] two weeks before my Supreme Court case and one day before that argument, I had my partnership interview," said Kimberly, who co-directs Yale Law School's Supreme Court Clinic alongside firm colleagues Pincus, special counsel Charles Rothfeld and senior associate Paul Hughes. "It was an intense two weeks." 

Reprinted with permission from the November 16, 2015 edition of The National Law Journal © 2015 ALM Properties, Inc. All rights reserved. Further duplication without permission is prohibited.