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Attorney General of Virginia

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Commonwealth of Virginia
Office of the Attorney General

Mark Herring
Attorney General

202 North Ninth Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219


For media inquiries only, contact:  
Charlotte Gomer, Press Secretary
Phone: (804)786-1022 
Mobile: (804) 512-2552
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


~ Award given to successful Supreme Court amicus brief in Trump v. Vance; Last year Herring received the NAAG “Best Brief” Award for his winning Supreme Court brief in House of Delegates v. Bethune-Hill ~

RICHMOND – Attorney General Mark R. Herring’s Supreme Court amicus brief in Trump v. Vance has received the “Best Brief” award from the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG). The amicus brief helped defeat President Donald Trump’s efforts to impede criminal investigations and hide evidence of potential crimes. This is the second year in a row that Attorney General Herring has been honored with NAAG’s “Best Brief” Award – last year he received the award for his Supreme Court brief in Virginia House of Delegates v. Bethune-Hill.


“This case had the potential to set the really dangerous precedent that the President can block legitimate investigations and withhold evidence. The Supreme Court’s ruling was incredibly important in making clear what we have always known: no one is above the law, and that includes Donald Trump,” said Attorney General Herring.  “I want to thank the National Association of Attorneys General for their recognition and I also want to thank Toby, Martine, Michelle, Jessi, Zach, and Victoria for their great work on this important case.”


Attorney General Herring authored the amicus brief that made clear that President Trump cannot block a valid grand jury subpoena sent to his accounting firm that seeks financial records as part of an ongoing investigation by the District Attorney of New York. Sixteen fellow attorneys general joined Attorney General Herring’s brief, and the Supreme Court ruled 7-2 that President Trump cannot block a valid subpoena sent to a third party. 


The “Best Brief” Awards are given annually by the National Association of Attorneys General in recognition of excellence in brief writing in the U.S. Supreme Court. The awards honor state attorneys, who collectively handle more Supreme Court Cases than almost anyone else in the legal community. The winners were selected by a panel of independent Supreme Court experts who are experienced Supreme Court practitioners.


“Appellate practitioners have a deep impact on state attorney general efforts to protect citizens from wrongdoing and defend state laws and officers,” said Dan Schweitzer, chief counsel of the NAAG Center for Supreme Court Advocacy. “The Best Brief Awards recognize that appellate brief writing is a specialized skill. Congratulations to the winners for their commendable accomplishments.”


Attorneys on the Trump v. Vance amicus brief were Attorney General Mark Herring, Solicitor General Toby J. Heytens, Deputy Solicitors General Martine E. Cicconi and Michelle S. Kallen, Assistant Solicitor General Jessica Merry Samuels, John Marshall Fellow Zachary R. Glubiak, and Deputy Attorney General Victoria N. Pearson.


Other recipients of this year’s “Best Brief” Award were:


California: Petition for Certiorari of California et al. in California v. Texas, No. 19-840. The authors were Solicitor General Michael J. Mongan, Deputy Solicitors General Samuel P. Siegel and Helen H. Hong, Supervising Deputy Attorney General Kathleen Boergers, Deputy Attorneys General Nimrod Pitsker Elias and Neli N. Palma, and Associate Deputy Solicitor General Amari L. Hammonds.


Brief of Respondents California et al. in Department of Homeland Security v. Regents of the University of California, No. 18-587. The authors were Solicitor General Michael J. Mongan, Senior Assistant Attorney General Michael L. Newman, Deputy Solicitors General Samuel P. Siegel and Joshua Patashnik, and Deputy Attorneys General Shubhra Shivpuri and James F. Zahradka II.


New York: Brief of Respondents New York et al. in McAleenan v. Batalla Vidal, No. 18-589. The authors were Solicitor General Barbara D. Underwood, Deputy Solicitor General Anisha S. Dasgupta, Assistant Deputy Solicitor General Andrew W. Amend, and Assistant Solicitor General David S. Frankel. 


Oklahoma, Georgia, and Arizona: Amicus Brief of Oklahoma, et al. in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, No, 18-1195. The authors were, for Oklahoma, Solicitor General Mithun Mansinghani and Assistant Solicitors General Zach West and Bryan Cleveland; for Georgia, Solicitor General Andrew A. Pinson and Assistant Attorney General Kurtis G. Anderson; and for Arizona, Solicitor General O.H. Skinner and Deputy Solicitor General Andrew G. Pappas.  


Washington: Washington’s Brief for Respondent in Chiafalo v. Washington, No. 19-465. The authors were Solicitor General Noah G. Purcell, Deputy Solicitors General Tera Heintz and Alan D. Copsey, and Assistant Attorney General Cristina Sepe. 


Last year, Attorney General Herring was honored with NAAG’s “Best Brief” Award for his Virginia House of Delegates v. Bethune-Hill Supreme Court brief, that successfully argued that the attorney general alone had the authority to decide whether or not to appeal a three-judge panel’s finding of racial gerrymandering in Virginia’s House of Delegates districts.


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