Yesterday, SCOTUS blog had an interesting and informative article, authored by Al J. Daniel, Jr., on the role of Department of Justice appellate/staff attorneys in cases heard by the federal courts of appeals -- including the United States Supreme Court. According to the article, each of the DOJ's litigation divisions have appellate staff attorneys who brief and argue cases before the federal courts of appeals and assist the US Solicitor General in making appellate decisions, including whether a case should be appealed.
The five main categories of a DOJ appellate staff attorney's job are
- (1) "draft legal memoranda for the Solicitor General recommending whether the government should seek Supreme Court review of adverse decisions of courts of appeals (or sometimes, district courts) by certiorari or appeal";
- (2) "do the necessary legal research and prepare a complete draft of a proposed petition for a writ of certiorari or a jurisdictional statement for an appeal to the Supreme Court";
- (3) "prepare a first draft of the amicus brief for the SG’s Office";
- (4) "draft legal memoranda for the Solicitor General in which they recommend whether the government should appeal adverse district court decisions to the courts of appeals, should seek en banc review of adverse court of appeals decisions, or should file an amicus brief or intervene in the courts of appeals or other courts"; and
- (5) "conduct legal research, draft the appropriate court of appeals briefs or petitions, and present oral argument in cases in the various courts of appeals around the country on behalf of the United States and its agencies."