Susman Godfrey Partner Argues to US Supreme Court

On November 5, Susman Godfrey partner Barry Barnett did something that only a tiny number of American lawyers ever do: he argued a case before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Mr. Barnett called the chance to appear before the justices among the highest honors of his 26-year legal career. “The members of the Court prepare so thoroughly, and they ask such tough and probing questions,” he said. “Nothing I’ve done before compares with the thrill of standing before the Court and making your case. I’ll never forget it.”

Mr. Barnett’s clients won in the trial court and the court of appeals. Both courts held that the Philadelphia class had proven that the case could proceed as a class action.

Before the Court granted Comcast’s request for review of the lower courts’ rulings, Mr. Barnett noted, he had never visited the Supreme Court building before. “I had a sharp learning curve,” he said.

Mr. Barnett spent many hours of intense preparation. That included writing the brief on the merits, studying arguments in other cases before the Court, researching the law, and thinking about the questions that the justices might ask and trying to answer them.

Mr. Barnett lives in Dallas, Texas, and spends several days a month in Susman Godfrey’s New York office. He serves as an Elected Member of the American Law Institute, a Trustee of the Center for American and International Law and the Greenhill School, and an Alumnus Member of the Texas Lyceum. He has tried class actions in Kansas, Nevada, and Texas and dozens of non-class cases and argued appeals in the Third, Fifth, and Tenth Circuits. He graduated from Yale University and Harvard Law School and clerked for a Fifth Circuit judge before joining Susman Godfrey in 1985.

Susman Godfrey LLP serves as co-lead counsel in the case. Dallas partner Daniel Charest and associate LeElle Krompass are also on the trial team.

For more information, please contact Mr. Barnett at 214-754-1903 or

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