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Arnold & Porter Secures Multiple Landmark Supreme Court Victories, Advancing Civil Rights, Free Speech, Voting Integrity, and Innovation

June 30, 2023

WASHINGTON, JUNE 30, 2023 — Arnold & Porter had an exceptional term at the United States Supreme Court, during which the firm won three significant cases argued by its lawyers and contributed as co-counsel in two additional successful appeals. Long known for its excellence in high-stakes litigation, the firm completed a consecutive year as one of the biggest winners before the Supreme Court.

"These accomplishments reflect the enduring tradition of Arnold & Porter and are a testament to the capabilities of our attorneys," said Richard M. Alexander, Chairman of Arnold & Porter.

“This level of success at the highest levels of the court system showcases the firm’s collaborative spirit, dedication to clients, and relentless drive to win,” said John P. Elwood, head of Arnold & Porter’s Appellate & Supreme Court practice. “We are proud that four firm lawyers have argued six cases before the Supreme Court in just the last two terms — and that fully half of those cases were argued by an associate. Arnold & Porter is committed to training the next generation’s stars.”

Supreme Court Victories This Term

Civil Rights and Procedural Rules:
Dupree v. Younger. Representing a former prison official in Maryland who faced a lawsuit alleging involvement in an assault, Arnold & Porter established an important new precedent regarding procedural rules for civil litigants seeking to preserve arguments for appeal. The Supreme Court unanimously overturned precedent in five circuits and clarified that a post-trial motion under Rule 50 is unnecessary to preserve a purely legal issue resolved at summary judgment for appellate review. The precedent eliminated a rule that for decades had needlessly foreclosed appellate review for parties that inadvertently failed to relitigate a purely legal issue at the trial. The decision can potentially impact nearly any civil case that goes to trial.

Civil Rights:
Health & Hospital Corp v. Talevski. Arnold & Porter achieved a substantial victory in a precedent-setting nursing home abuse case with nationwide implications for civil rights litigation. The firm represented the late Gorgi Talevski, who had suffered severe abuse at an Indiana state-run nursing home. He sued to enforce his federal rights against such abuse under Section 1983, a federal statute enacted just after the Civil War that creates a cause of action against state actors for violating federal rights. After the district court dismissed his suit, a team of A&P lawyers, led by senior associate Andrew Tutt, secured a reversal in the Seventh Circuit. After the Supreme Court granted review on behalf of the nursing home, which argued key precedents should be overruled, many predicted that the Court would reverse the Seventh Circuit and rule against our client. Instead, the Court ruled for Talevski, reaffirming those decisions by a 7-2 margin, establishing a critical precedent for civil rights nationwide and securing the rights of nursing home residents under the Federal Nursing Home Reform Act.

First Amendment Rights:
Counterman v. Colorado. The firm effectively defended First Amendment rights in the pivotal case of Billy Raymond Counterman v. Colorado. The Supreme Court's 7-2 decision finally settled a long-unresolved question regarding whether the First Amendment requires that speakers have subjectively understood their statements to be threatening. The Court ruled that a defendant must have a guilty mental state before speech can be deemed a 'true threat,' and that prosecutors must at least show the speaker acted recklessly, consciously disregarding the risk that the listener would feel threatened. The Court thus finally resolved a critical boundary between protected and unlawful speech.

Democracy and Voting Rights:
Moore v. Harper. Arnold & Porter served as co-counsel in a highly consequential victory for voting rights. The Supreme Court rejected the "independent state legislature theory" put forth by Republicans in the North Carolina legislature, upholding state courts’ authority to review state legislative actions. It also affirmed that the Constitution's elections clause does not grant unrestricted control to state lawmakers over federal election rules, helping to safeguard fair election processes. Arnold & Porter counsel argued the case before the courts below and co-authored the Supreme Court briefs.

Innovation and Intellectual Property:
Amgen Inc. v. Sanofi. Arnold & Porter's successful representation of Sanofi-Aventis US and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. safeguards their innovative cholesterol-lowering drug from a potential permanent injunction. This victory established the standard for determining whether a patent “enabled” others to practice the invention and represented the first decision in almost a century regarding the degree to which a patent must educate the public to be valid. Arnold & Porter successfully argued the case before the Federal Circuit below and co-authored the successful briefs before the Supreme Court.

A Legacy of Advocacy

In addition, Arnold & Porter argued three cases before the Supreme Court last term: Wooden v. United States (criminal law), Berger v. North Carolina State Conference of the NAACP (voting rights), and Torres v. Texas Department of Public Safety (constitutional law — abrogation of state sovereign immunity).

These cases are just the latest examples of Arnold & Porter's heritage of Supreme Court advocacy — and in particular, of advocating important social issues before the Supreme Court. Through decades of successful arguments in landmark cases, the firm has helped strengthen and protect civil rights, constitutional law, labor rights, consumer protection, public safety, and beyond.

About Arnold & Porter
Arnold & Porter combines sophisticated regulatory, litigation, and transactional capabilities to resolve clients' most complex issues. With over 1,000 lawyers practicing in 14 offices worldwide, we offer deep industry experience and an integrated approach that spans more than 40 practice areas. Through multidisciplinary collaboration and focused industry experience, we provide innovative and effective solutions to mitigate risks, address challenges, and achieve successful outcomes.