Articles on Heller and upcoming argument
Legal Times reports on the question of dividing argument time, which appears to have become rather contentious.
Law.com has a story on the history of the case. Since it's subscription only, I'll post segments in extended remarks below.
Hat tip to reader Jack Anderson....
After turmoil in its legal ranks, D.C. prepares to defend its handgun ban at the Supreme Court
By Tony Mauro
February 18, 2008
Walter Dellinger estimates that when his firm, O’Melveny & Myers, briefs and argues a Supreme Court case on a pro bono basis, it usually eats up about $500,000 worth of otherwise billable hours.
But when the District of Columbia called on him in early January to ask him to defend its handgun laws in the Second Amendment case of D.C. v. Heller, Dellinger did not hesitate.
He said yes, even though he now estimates that the cost to his firm in lost fees will be “well over $1 million.” .... What once was a case being handled mostly by in-house counsel in D.C. government suddenly became a project divided between Dellinger’s O’Melveny and two other major law firms, all working pro bono.
On the pro-gun rights side, by contrast, the case is still being controlled by Alan Gura, a dedicated small-firm lawyer practicing in Alexandria, Va. He launched the challenge against D.C.’s gun ordinance on his own six years ago, funded only meagerly by Cato Institute scholar Robert Levy. Gura says he has not been paid for the case since 2003, but he has carried the ball far down the field...
Until last month, Dellinger was not expecting to be quite so busy.
The city already had a top-notch Supreme Court advocate working in the D.C. attorney general’s office: Alan Morrison, former head of the Public Citizen Litigation Group, ... O’Melveny had done some pro bono work for D.C. and its new mayor, Adrian Fenty, in the past, and offered to draft a friend-of-the-court brief in the gun case.
But after unrelated disputes with Fenty counsel Peter Nickles, Morrison’s boss, then-Attorney General Linda Singer, announced her resignation in December. Soon Morrison, viewed as a Singer loyalist, was being shown the door as well. Their last official workday was Jan. 4, the day the city’s merits brief was due at the Court. The sidelined Morrison says city officials are freezing him out of continued involvement in the case. ...