Baker Botts associate Evan Young (pictured) of Austin was surprised when he got a call on June 13 from an old boss. That boss is U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, and instead of a social call, Scalia telephoned his former clerk to see if he would argue for the U.S. Department of Justice in an appeal set for the court’s next term. Young says Scalia called him just minutes after the Supreme Court agreed to hear the appeal in Setser v. United States, in which the federal government no longer supports a 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision. “He said, ‘We just granted a case, Setser v. U.S. The government agrees with the other side, so we need somebody to argue that position, that government’s position.” Young, who clerked for Scalia in 2005 and 2006, says he notified Scalia he could take the assignment after he determined no conflict at Baker Botts. In Setser, the court will decide if a district court has authority to order a federal sentence to run consecutively with an anticipated, but not-yet-imposed, state sentence. The 5th Circuit ruled on May 11, 2010, that court could do so. Young, who joined Baker Botts after his U.S. Supreme Court clerkship and a stint at the U.S. Attorney General’s office, says he dreamed of opportunity to argue before the nation’s high court, but wasn’t expecting it so early in his career. As to why Scalia selected him, Young says it’s a “great mystery” to him. Setser’s lawyer, Jason Hawkins, who works at the Federal Public Defender's Office for the Northern District of Texas, did not immediately return a telephone message seeking comment.
-- Brenda Sapino Jeffreys