5 October 2009
By Lynne Marek
Arguing before a federal appellate court is thrilling enough for most attorneys, but the real lucky ones, like Mayer Brown's Jeffrey Sarles, get a double dose of the appellate black-robe treatment in one day.
On Oct. 5, Sarles will argue twice before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, representing slot-machine maker International Game Technology, in the first round as respondent and in the second round as the petitioner.
To prepare for the ultra appellate day, the Chicago-based attorney planned to fly into Washington on the Friday beforehand and hole up at the firm's office there, reviewing the trial record and refining his arguments.
"It's kind of like having two kids with the same birthday - you have to make sure you devote the proper amount of attention to each and also don't confuse them," Sarles said.
It should be old hat for Sarles - last year, he had two totally unrelated cases come before the 7th Circuit on the same day. Still, both of his Federal Circuit cases are fairly technical and, unlike many intellectual property attorneys, Sarles is not an engineer. Therefore he feels the need to put more work into the making the complex aspects of the cases easy for the judges to understand.
"I think I'll need a good drink when I get on that plane home," Sarles said.