Lawyers, even those who are unlikely to appear at the Supreme Court, enjoy hearing from those who have done just that.

I count myself in that group of interested onlookers. In the past, Arizona Attorney Magazine has published the war stories of many lawyers who have stood at that podium and sought justice in their cases. Read the stories here and here.

Today at lunch, we get another opportunity to hear from someone who has advocated at the highest levels of our court system. Mary O’Grady, former Arizona Solicitor General, will speak on the topic of “Defending Arizona’s Controversial Laws in the Nation’s Highest Court.”

The event will be the monthly luncheon of the Arizona Women Lawyers Association. Here is their press release:

Regardless of your position on Arizona’s employer sanctions law, you won’t want to miss hearing from the woman who defended its constitutionality before the U.S. Supreme Court last December.  As Solicitor General for the State of Arizona for nine years, from 2002 until last March, Mary O’Grady was responsible for leading Arizona’s defense in lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of some of the most controversial laws in the country.  She has defended the constitutionality of state laws on such subjects as same-sex marriage, school choice, campaign finance, school finance and immigration.

Mary will discuss her approach to dealing with this type of litigation, including her experiences overseeing the work on 10 cases on the merits before the U.S. Supreme Court.  Most recently, last December, Mary argued before the nation’s highest court the case of Chamber of Commerce v. Whiting, the lawsuit challenging the state’s employer sanctions law as unconstitutional.  That law allows for the suspension or revocation of business licenses of companies that knowingly hire undocumented workers. It also requires Arizona employers to use the federal E-Verify system to validate Social Security numbers and the immigration status of new hires.  It has been upheld by the U.S. District Court and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Mary now works as an attorney at Osborn Maledon.  She began her legal career at Lewis and Roca, and she also worked as an attorney in the Arizona House of Representatives before joining the Solicitor General’s Office in 1999. She has three children.