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Reflections of a Supreme Court Practitioner

October 13, 2014

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By Spencer Wilson

The Law School hosted the Sixth Annual Justice Kennedy Lecture Series this fall and was honored to have Thomas C. Goldstein as its featured speaker. The lecture series is designed to promote cutting-edge issues affecting the United States Supreme Court, the Constitution, and constitutional jurisprudence.

Goldstein, a renowned appellate advocate who frequently appears before the United States Supreme Court, lectured about the historical origins and evolution of the Supreme Court Bar and what it means to practice before the highest court in the land. He then shared his “practioner’s view” of the upcoming term in the Supreme Court. At the end of the lecture, Goldstein took questions from the audience.  Their questions focused on cases working their way up through the lower courts that will garner attention when before the Court.

In attendance that evening were honored guests Judge Dairmuid O’Scannlain of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, Justice Robert Durham (retired) of the Oregon Supreme Court, as well as numerous Lewis & Clark professors and students.

Goldstein represents clients spanning almost all areas of federal law, including age discrimination, free speech, class action, disability law, bankruptcy, habeas corpus, labor law, securities, trademark, and immigration.

In addition to practicing law, Goldstein has taught Supreme Court Litigation at Harvard Law School since 2004, and previously taught the same subject at Stanford Law School for nearly a decade.  Goldstein is also the co-founder and publisher of SCOTUSblog—a web-site devoted to comprehensive coverage of the Court—which is the only weblog ever to receive the Peabody Award.

In addition to his evening speech, Goldstein visited Professor Paula Abrams’s constitutional law class, where he discussed contemporary issues and upcoming Supreme Court cases with the students. Goldstein was Judge O’Scannlain’s guest and toured the Historic Pioneer Courthouse, Portland’s home for the Ninth Circuit.


The lecture was recorded and is archived in the law library.

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