Partner Sarah Harris was featured in the article “Supreme Court Argument Tips From 16 Lawyers Who Made Virus-Era Debuts,” published by The National Law Journal on December 21, 2020. The article highlights lawyers who appeared before the U.S. Supreme Court for the first time this term and features their tips and advice for future first-time advocates. On November 2, Sarah argued Salinas v. United States Railroad Retirement Board, where the question presented was whether courts of appeals have jurisdiction to review the Railroad Retirement Board’s decisions denying requests to reopen a prior benefits determination. Those decisions have profound consequences for railroad workers like our client, Mr. Salinas, who often depend on disability benefits to support their families.
During her interview with The National Law Journal, Sarah advised flexibility, especially given the new telephonic format: “I’m a big believer in a truism attributed to the Chief: Oral argument is about what the justices are interested in, not necessarily what you want to get out.” Thus, “it’s more important than ever to give a clear yes or no type response before you dive into your answer, since the Justices are often trying to get through a series of questions before their time expires.”
Sarah focuses her practice on appellate litigation. She has represented clients before the U.S. Supreme Court and federal and state appellate courts across the country. Sarah has been recognized in the appellate field as a “Rising Star” by The National Law Journal and as a “Next Generation Lawyer” by The Legal 500. Before joining Williams & Connolly, Sarah served as a Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Legal Counsel at the United States Department of Justice and clerked for Justice Clarence Thomas on the Supreme Court of the United States.
Click here to read “Supreme Court Argument Tips From 16 Lawyers Who Made Virus-Era Debuts,” published by The National Law Journal.