McGeorge School of Law

Three More Alums Argued Before Supreme Court

August 18, 2011

In the Summer 2011 Pacific Law magazine, 15 McGeorge alumni were cited for having presented oral argument before the U.S. Supreme Court. But thanks to alert readers, three more alums with that distinction have been revealed.

Robert Bonsall, '85, argued for the respondents in Granite Rock Co. v. International Brotherhood of Teamsters & Teamsters Local 287 (2010). Bonsall, who is considered one of the finest labor attorneys in Northern California, argued for respondent Teamsters Local 287. The petitioner won a 7-2 decision as the case was affirmed in part, reversed in part and remanded. The high court held that the federal court, and not an arbitrator, may decide when parties enter into a collective bargaining agreement. Bonsall is a senior partner in the Sacramento law firm of Beeson, Tayer & Bodine.

Philip McDowell, '74, argued the case of Brower v. Inyo County (1989) on behalf of the respondent as the Inyo County District Attorney. The petitioner won a 9-0 decision in the Fourth Amendment ruling that involved determining if being chased into a police roadblock constituted a seizure. McDowell, who retired from office several years ago and lives in Bishop, California, was a winner as second chair in a return trip to the court in 2003 representing the county in another matter.

Michael Lilly, '74, argued for the respondent in Olim v. Wakinekona (1983) during the middle of his term as Attorney General and First Deputy Attorney General of Hawaii. The petitioner won a 6-3 decision in the due process, prisoners' rights case. Lilly was co-counsel with Lawrence Tribe and sat with him during his successful argument in another case a year later.

A senior partner in the Honolulu firm of Ning Lilly & Jones, he has enjoyed an outstanding career in private practice, winning the largest wrongful termination jury verdict in state history and several cases before the Hawaii Supreme Court.