Former U.S. Solicitor General and U.S. Supreme Court advocate Paul D. Clement, along with the other 16 attorneys at his appellate litigation boutique, Bancroft PLLC, decamped for Kirkland & Ellis this week.
Clement has worked on many famous cases at the high court and appellate courts but there are a host of cases—some famous—that you were perhaps unaware were associated with him.
Here are a few (in)famous, quirky and just-plain interesting cases Clement has worked on.
• The UVA Lacrosse Case: This high-profile case concerned the murder of a University of Virginia student and lacrosse player, Yeardley Love. Her ex-boyfriend, also a lacrosse player, George W. Huguely V, was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to 23 years in jail. Clement represented Huguely in front of the Virginia Supreme Court and upon appeal to the Supreme Court. Clement argued that Huguely’s Sixth Amendment right to counsel had been violated when the lower court denied his motion for a continuance after one of his two retained attorneys was too ill to attend court during his trial.
• NFL Labor Dispute: In 2011, the National Football League team players and owners couldn’t come to an agreement on their collective bargaining agreement. From March until July, the owners locked out the players and shut down NFL operations. Clement represented the NFL, which won at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. The court held that the district court’s injunction, preventing the owners from locking out the players, was prohibited under federal law.
• The “Ooops I Missed The Deadlines” Case: Bobby Chen sued Baltimore in 2011 for tearing down his house and the case was ultimately dismissed because he failed to serve the defendants within the 120-day period. The Fourth Circuit affirmed the dismissal. Chen then filed a Petition for a writ of certiorari and the high court agreed to hear his case despite the very long odds of getting a grant when the filer can’t afford the filing fee. Chen missed the deadline for filing a brief on the merits and no one could find him. The court reneged its grant, saying: “Petitioner has neither requested an extension of time nor responded to correspondence directed to the mailing address provided under Rule 34.1(f). Additional efforts to contact petitioner have been unsuccessful.” When Chen reappeared, Clement then stepped in and filed a petition for rehearing, which the court denied.
• Dr. Dre! Eminem!: Well, not exactly. But Clement represented Aftermath Records, a record label founded by Dr. Dre, in a royalty dispute. In F.B.T. Productions, LLC v. Aftermath Records, the Ninth Circuit reversed the district court and held that Aftermath owed another record label a 50% royalty under an agreement for licensing Eminem recordings to third parties for any use. Clement filed the Supreme Court petition, which addressed complicated issues of appellate procedure not as interesting as writing about musicians. The court denied review.
• Deflategate: When New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was suspended by the NFL commissioner in 2015 for his involvement in a scheme to deflate footballs used in the 2015 AFC Championship Game, things got litigious. A federal court in New York vacated the suspension, only to have the Second Circuit reverse, finding that the commissioner’s decision didn’t deprive Brady “of fundamental fairness.” Clement argued the appeal on behalf of the NFL.
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