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January 4, 2012

Alum Spotlight: Carter Phillips, Supreme Court Advocate

by dan rodriguez

Carter G PhillipsDuring this trip to our nation’s capital, I am pleased to highlight a few of our distinguished alums.

Carter G. Phillips is the Managing Partner of the Washington, D.C. office of Sidley Austin LLP, and is a member of the firm’s Management Committee. He served as a law clerk to both Judge Robert Sprecher on the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and Chief Justice Warren E. Burger on the United States Supreme Court. Mr. Phillips served as Assistant to the Solicitor General and argued nine cases on behalf of the federal government in the United States Supreme Court. Since joining Sidley, Mr. Phillips has argued 64 cases in the Supreme Court. His 73 arguments before that Court are the most of any lawyer currently in private practice.  Mr. Phillips also has argued more than 80 cases in the federal courts of appeals and more than a dozen in other appellate courts.

Mr. Phillips is a member of the American Law Institute, the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers and is a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers. He serves on the Board of Governors of the Federal Circuit Bar Association, is a member of the Federal Circuit Advisory Committee and was the Chair of the Committee from 2003-2005, and is a trustee of the Supreme Court Historical Society. He received the 2001 Rex Lee Advocacy Award, the Northwestern University Alumni Merit Award in 1998, the Northwestern University Alumni Service Award in 2006, the Ohio State Alumni Professional Achievement Award in 2007, and the Honorary Degree Doctor of Public Service from the Ohio State University in 2011. Mr. Phillips also is a member (and former chairman) of the Dean’s Advisory Committee of Northwestern University’s School of Law, a member of the Advisory Committee of The Ohio State University Colleges of Arts and Sciences, and a member of the Dean’s Advisory Council of the University of California, Irvine’s Donald Bren School of Law. He serves on the Advisory Committee of the Georgetown University Law Center’s Supreme Court Institute. He is also adjunct professor of law at Northwestern University School of Law, teaching a clinic seminar on Supreme Court practices.

His practice has been featured in articles in the American Lawyer, Business Week, Legal Times, The National Law Journal, USA Today and Legal Business (a publication in England). Mr. Phillips was selected by the American Lawyer as a member of the 45 Under 45 in 1995 and as one of the 100 Best Lawyers in America by The National Law Journal. In 2006 he was named one of the “Top 100 Most Influential Lawyers in America” as chosen by The National Law Journal. The NLJ also named him a runner-up for its 2006 “Lawyer of the Year,” saying that in 2006 he “became the ‘go-to’ attorney for corporations seeking Supreme Court relief, further elevating his stature within the small, but highly skilled, Supreme Court bar.” In September, 2007 he received the Lewis F. Powell Award for Business Advocacy given by the National Chamber Litigation Center, the public policy law firm of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. In July 2008, Mr. Phillips was named one of the “90 Greatest Washington Lawyers of the Last 30 Years” by the Legal Times. In 2009, Chambers USA’s Leading Lawyers for Business listed him in the top band of litigators in Washington, D.C. In 2010, he was named one of “The Decade’s Most Influential Lawyers” by The National Law Journal. Most recently, Mr. Phillips was named one of the 2012 Lawyers of the Year in the area of Litigation – Regulatory Enforcement by Best Lawyers.

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