Today, Greg Garre became the fourth Solicitor General to win the Rex Lee Advocacy Award, presented at the Washington Court Hotel in Washington, D.C.
Garre thanked those who have helped him in his career, including Chief Justice John Roberts, his mentor at Hogan & Hartson (now Hogan Lovells), and Chief Justice William Rehnquist, for whom he clerked.
Garre chairs the Supreme Court and Appellate Practice Group at Latham & Watkins and served as Solicitor General under President George W. Bush. Garre's Latham bio notes that he "has argued 34 cases before the Supreme Court, including cases in each of the past eleven terms." He is an alum of the George Washington University Law School. Dean Paul Schiff Berman of GW Law was at the luncheon.
Tom Lee, Utah Supreme Court Justice, and Mike Lee, U.S. Senator from Utah, were both on hand for the award presentation and luncheon named for their late father, who served as Solicitor General under Ronald Reagan. Justice Lee spoke, calling his father his hero, mentor, and best friend. Senator Lee, in a statement to Appellate Daily, said that he is honored that his father is still remembered so many years after his death.
The J. Reuben Clark Law Society presents the Rex Lee award annually to a distinguished attorney. Since the award began in 2001, most recipients have served at one time in the Solicitor General's Office, including four Solicitors General: Paul Clement, Ted Olson, Seth Waxman, and now, Greg Garre.
Clement attended the luncheon and introduced Garre. He described different skills that Garre had honed in different positions in the Solicitor General's office, ranging from the assistant's case-specific knowledge, to the deputy's mastery of substantive areas of the law, to the Solicitor General's big-picture perspective.
Garre has been in the news recently. The University of Texas hired him in connection with a closely watched affirmative action case to be heard in the Supreme Court's upcoming term. Maureen Mahoney, Garre's predecessor as appellate chair at Latham, successfully argued for the University of Michigan Law School in Grutter v. Bollinger, a landmark affirmative action case decided by the Supreme Court in 2003. Mahoney, a past Rex Lee award recipient, is also on the Texas case.
The J. Reuben Clark Law Society is associated with Brigham Young University and its sponsor, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Rex Lee served as president of BYU and prior to that, as its first law dean.