THE U.S. AND CALIFORNIA SUPREME COURTS

THE U.S. AND CALIFORNIA SUPREME COURTS

In the courts of last resort, experience matters.

Getting In The Door

The first job of a litigant seeking review in the California or U.S. Supreme Court – unlike at the intermediate appellate level – is to convince the court to hear the case.  On average, the odds of obtaining such a hearing – a grant of “review” in state court or of “certiorari” in federal court – are in the single digits.

GMSR’s record is not average.  With decades of success getting cases into these courts of last resort, the firm gives clients expert guidance on whether and how a case can be framed to be heard.  It is not as simple as reading the rules.  The highest courts focus less on the injustice done in a particular case, and more on resolving conflicts between intermediate courts over crucial legal issues that resonate statewide, nationally, and internationally.

Many lawyers can claim that a case presents an important issue, but few match GMSR’s understanding of how the highest courts will assess ongoing developments in the law, percolating conflicts among lower appellate courts, and whether a particular case is a good vehicle for determining an issue.

Shaping The Law

GMSR and its clients have been instrumental in developing both state and federal law – often by persuading the U.S. and California Supreme Courts to overturn lower court decisions or to return to fundamental principles.  GMSR lawyers are deeply experienced in:

  • Navigating the U.S. and California Supreme Courts’ unique and specific procedural rules – reassuring the high courts that experts are at the helm.
  • Drafting concise merits briefs that allow the courts to focus on important problems in the law that need to be addressed.
  • Placing complex legal issues in the context of the fabric of the law and addressing the public policy considerations that often motivate these courts of last resort.
  • Understanding the justices’ tendencies and histories, to better inform oral argument preparation.
  • Providing crucial amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) perspective to protect clients’ big-picture interests in matters before Supreme Courts.
UNPARALLELED SUCCESS AT THE HIGHEST LEVEL

In the last 7 years, GMSR has persuaded the United States Supreme Court to review 6 cases; in 5 of those, the Supreme Court agreed with GMSR’s client’s position and reversed an adverse lower court decision.

Recent GMSR Supreme Court Victories:

Stanton v. Sims (2013) 134 S.Ct. 3

L.A. County Flood Control Dist. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc. (2013) 568 U.S. 78

Messerschmidt v. Millender (2012) 565 U.S. 535

City of Ontario, Cal. v. Quon (2010) 560 U.S. 746

Sanchez v. Valencia Holding Co., LLC (2015) 61 Cal.4th 899

In re Estate of Duke (2015) 61 Cal.4th 871