The Amicus Wrangler and Amicus Whisperer at #SCOTUS

Adam Liptak:

The teams preparing for major Supreme Court cases must now include two new members, the study said: the amicus wrangler and the amicus whisperer.

“The wrangler is gathering the troops,” said Allison Orr Larsen, a professor at William and Mary Law School and one of the study’s authors, “and the whisperer is coordinating the message.”

(Kathleen M. Sullivan coined the first term, and Pamela S. Karlan the second. Both argue often before the Supreme Court and possess a gift for vivid language.)

The wranglers and whisperers must do several things at once, Professor Larsen said.

“You can think of it as an orchestra and a conductor,” she said. “There are three different elements, and you have to match them up. There’s the message that you want the justices to hear, the person they need to hear it from and the lawyer who can translate into the correct language.”

The study, prepared with Neal Devins, also a law professor at William and Mary, will be published in the Virginia Law Review.


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