The Supreme-Court will soon subject Sullivan & Cromwell to the sort of scrutiny no law firm could relish.
Last year, The WSJ Law Blog noted that S&C, due to a mailroom mixup at the firm, missed a deadline to file an appeal on behalf of Cory Maples (pictured), a pro bono client facing the death penalty for two counts of capital murder.
An Alabama court sent two copies of a ruling in Maples’s case to S&C in New York, but the firm’s mailroom sent the rulings back unopened, in part because two S&C associates who had been handling the case were no longer at the firm, the Times noted. Other lawyers had stepped in to handle the case but had not notified the mailroom of that fact.
S&C had tried to no avail to convince lower courts, including the 11th Circuit, to waive the deadline to file on appeal on behalf of its pro bono client Cory Maples, who faces execution in Alabama.
S&C hired former U.S. solicitor general Gregory Garre to try to convince the Supreme Court to consider its claim that Maples should not be blamed for a mistake made by the firm.
The firm’s wish was granted today when the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case later this year, AP reports.
“We are pleased that Mr. Maples will have the opportunity raise important arguments in the United States Supreme Court, and we will work diligently to support him in this process,” a Sullivan & Cromwell spokesman said.