Verrilli and Clement at the Corporate Counsel Institute

March 15, 2013 — Regarding the Supreme Court’s business cases, there may not be one case right now that “looks like a blockbuster,” said former Solicitor General Paul Clement at Georgetown Law’s Corporate Council Institute on March 8. “But I do think one of the lessons of the business docket is that sometimes cases that end up being very important don’t present themselves as being blockbusters in the first instance.”

 It was the second year in a row that Clement, an adjunct professor here, has appeared in Hart Auditorium with U.S. Solicitor General Don Verrilli Jr. 

The Myriad Genetics patent case — looking at the right to patent human genes — or Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum — examining whether the Alien Tort Statute can be applied extraterritorially for violations of the law of nations — are two cases before the Court that could significantly interest "the corporate suite," as Clement put it. 

“This might be a case that really captures the imagination,” said Verrilli of Myriad Genetics.  He also explored Bowman v. Monsanto (regarding the sale of patented seeds) and some Federal Trade Commission matters.

Professor and Supreme Court Institute Faculty Director Steven Goldblatt acted as moderator for the panel, presented by Georgetown Law's Continuing Legal Education program.

Last year, Verrilli and Clement argued on opposing sides of the individual mandate challenge to the Affordable Care Act just weeks after appearing together at the 16th annual Corporate Counsel Institute. So one participant this year asked, “Any thoughts on the health care decision?” 

“I’m thinking we just shouldn’t go there,” Clement answered, turning to Verrilli. “What do you think?”

“That’s probably wise,” said Verrilli, to laughter from the audience.