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Kannon Shanmugam and Paul, Weiss Featured in The American Lawyer for Securing More Than 10% of SCOTUS Cert Grants This Year

December 17, 2020

Litigation partner Kannon Shanmugam and the Paul, Weiss Supreme Court & Appellate practice group were featured in the December 17 edition of The American Lawyer Litigation Daily. The article highlights the firm’s success in securing a remarkable five certiorari grants from the Supreme Court in 2020. In a typical year, the Court grants review to 70 to 80 petitions out of the thousands of cert petitions it receives; so far in 2020, it has granted fewer than 50.

Among other topics, the article discusses the procedural challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic, and the Paul, Weiss team’s strategy for cert petitions. “First, we try not to file plainly meritless cert petitions,” Kannon said. If a case is unlikely to be granted cert, “[w]e advise our clients to save their money, because that’s what’s in the clients’ best interest if there’s not a colorable chance of the court granting review.”

In some respects, just convincing the Court to take up a case is the hardest part of the process, Kannon said. “If you get cert granted you know that there are only two possible outcomes,” he said. “By definition, you’ve got at least a decent chance. In the cert process, the odds are such that it’s by definition always a longshot.”

The Paul, Weiss team working with Kannon on this past year’s cert petitions included litigation partners Audra Soloway, Daniel Toal and Ted Wells, associates Kristina Bunting, Stacie Fahsel, Nicholas Handler, Alexander Jones, Tanya Manno, William Marks, Ethan Merel, Jessica Morton, Samuel Prose, Sarah Prostko, Sudhir Rao, Zalman Rothschild, Adam Savitt, Garrett West and Alexandra Willingham.

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