First Mondays

By First Mondays

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First Mondays is an entertaining podcast about the Supreme Court.

Episode Date
OT2018 #19: "Fake Mootness"
As we enter the February sitting, we give you the rarest of episodes: a completely comprehensive preview of all the cases that will be argued this week! All two of them!
Feb 18, 2019
OT2018 #18: "Rorschach Test"
We thought it'd be a quiet week, but the Supreme Court had other plans. Amy Howe joins to catch us up on the news. We also get a taste of American University law professor Robert Tsai's new book, Practical Equality.
Feb 11, 2019
OT2018 #17: "The Most Distinguished Recording Location"
Dan has a great conversation with Judge Marsha Berzon of the Ninth Circuit and Professors Rory Little and Zach Price, both of UC-Hastings College of the Law.
Feb 04, 2019
OT2018 #16: "From Scratch"
We've got a breather between sittings, so Steve Sachs joins us as we recap an opinion, take a look at some grants and orders, discuss whether law school clinics are good or bad ideas, and ask a lot of questions.
Jan 28, 2019
OT2018 #15: "Second Best Opinion"
Dan and Leah recap the end of the January sitting and catch you up on the latest opinions and cert. grants.
Jan 21, 2019
OT2018 #14 "Decent Take"
Dan, Leah, and Danielle break down arguments from the first week of the January sitting.
Jan 14, 2019
OT2018 #13: "Beer For Lunch"
New year, new sitting! Merritt McAlister joins us from the University of Florida to catch up on Supreme Court news and look ahead to the coming arguments.
Jan 07, 2019
Amici #25 [UNLOCKED]: "Tough Phone Call"
In the holiday spirit, we've unlocked a bonus episode. Last June, at the Arizona State Bar Convention, Dan interviewed two judges: Hon. Andrew D. Hurwitz and Hon. Ruth McGregor.
Dec 24, 2018
OT2018 #12: "Inconceivable!"
It's an off week for the Supreme Court, so we've got another great ensemble cast to take a deep dive into issues that regularly come up on the show. Kate Shaw of Cardozo Law guest hosts.
Dec 17, 2018
OT2018 #11: "A Lot Of Meatballs"
There are twice as many women in this episode as there were at the Supreme Court podium in the whole December sitting. Leah and guest host Jaime Santos recap the week's arguments with two special guests.
Dec 10, 2018
OT2018 #10: "Come On, General"
Dan and Leah recap Supreme Court news, an opinion and two arguments, and they look ahead to the cases being argued this week.
Dec 03, 2018
OT2018 #9: "8,000 Pounds of Shark Fins"
Beth Colgan of UCLA joins us to preview a fascinating case about excessive fines (yes, really) called Timbs v. Indiana.
Nov 26, 2018
OT2018 #8: "Animal Magnetism"
The First Mondays national tour continues! This week we’re live at Duke Law School. With professors Marin Levy and Steve Sachs, we take a deep dive into Nutraceutical Corp. v. Lambert, a case that arises from some particularly spicy factual allegations.
Nov 19, 2018
OT2018 #7: "Now Who's the Legal Realist?"
Will and Dan catch you up on a lot of recent news and debrief the November sitting.
Nov 12, 2018
OT2018 #6: "Hook 'Em, Tom"
Dan is joined by Prof. Steve Vladeck for a live show at the University of Texas.
Nov 05, 2018
OT2018 #5: "Arbitration Nation"
This episode is late, but we have a good reason. We get up to speed on the cases in front of the Supreme Court this week, as well as some other SCOTUS-adjacent news.
Oct 31, 2018
OT2018 #4: "This Is About Frogs"
First Mondays is live from Columbia Law School, where we bring in a ringer: guest Professor Richard Epstein of NYU.
Oct 22, 2018
OT2018 #3: "Ordinary Pinch"
We're back to a nine-member Court, and we're here to recap arguments from the past week. Since Will is filling in as recurring guest host, we also take a look at the so-called "shadow docket." Plus, are the justices getting along?
Oct 15, 2018
OT2018 #2: "Alea Iacta Est"
Ian is joined by returning guest host Professor James Stern to break down the first week of the October sitting.
Oct 08, 2018
OT2018 #1: "Rearranging Deck Chairs"
The first Monday of October Term 2018 is upon us, which means it's time for the kick-off of our third season. Live from Washington University in St. Louis, we bring you previews of the week's arguments. The cases involve a range of issues, from the Federal Arbitration Act to the death penalty, and we know that-- for now-- they'll be decided by an 8-member court. Speaking of, that hearing was... something. We'll share our reactions as best we can, with the hopes that we'll do a more in-depth analysis of the latest Kavanaugh news soon.
Oct 01, 2018
OT2018 #0: "Looks A Lot Like Grift"
We're kicking off our third season with a live show at William & Mary! Professor James Stern joins us as we take the birds-eye view of OT2018. This year will bring cases about excessive fines, the death penalty, and just about everything in between.
Sep 24, 2018
In Recess #10: "Special Horses"
It's our first five-mic episode! We're joined by Kent Greenfield and Adam Winkler, who both have new books about corporate personhood, as well as our bankruptcy expert, Danielle D'Onfro.
Sep 17, 2018
Good Behaviour #10: "Bad Bens"
In our (hopefully) final episode of Good Behaviour (for a while), Ian and Leah discuss their favorite and least favorite moments of the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings.
Sep 10, 2018
In Recess #9: "Hoofbeats in the Distance"
Just in time for the Kavanaugh confirmation circus, we have a lively interview with David Kaplan about his new book, "The Most Dangerous Branch: Inside the Supreme Court's Assault on the Constitution."
Sep 03, 2018
Good Behaviour #9: "A Bunch of Printers"
Will Baude joins us to discuss the latest news of the Kavanaugh nomination. Plus, what do we mean when we talk about originalism?
Aug 27, 2018
1L First Street #1: "Dumbo's Feather"
We're launching a new series aimed at helping law students survive the best/worst three years of their lives. In this episode, we'll talk about study groups, thinking like your professor, and the best food-related way to make it through an exam.
Aug 20, 2018
In Recess #8: "Would You Rather"
Rick Hasen joins us to talk about his new book, "The Justice of Contradictions: Antonin Scalia and the Politics of Disruption."
Aug 13, 2018
Good Behaviour #8: "Batting .998"
We round up the latest Kavanaugh news, including speculation on the Bush documents and a debate over whether Democrats should support his confirmation when they disapprove on the merits.
Aug 06, 2018
In Recess #7: "Robot Ban"
We are live at the offices Akin Gump in Washington DC to talk with Pratik Shah and Martine Cicconi.
Jul 30, 2018
In Recess #6: "Allen Charge"
We get caught up on our backlog of our hotline calls while also briefly recapping the latest news on the battle to confirm Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.
Jul 23, 2018
In Recess #5: "The Ghost of LBJ"
We kick off our summer series by catching up on hotline calls and talking through the religious liberty docket.
Jul 16, 2018
Good Behaviour #7: "Not an Emirate"
Judge Brett Kavanaugh has been nominated to succeed Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court. What can we expect from him?
Jul 11, 2018
The Annual: OT2017 in Review
We look back on the best and worst of October Term 2017.
Jul 09, 2018
Good Behaviour #6: "The Drift"
We like to think that the Supreme Court is non-political in its decision-making, but the numbers say otherwise. Lee Epstein joins us to explain how data can illustrate where a Supreme Court nominee falls on the ideological scale.
Jul 06, 2018
OT2017 #31: "Old Paella"
OT2017 came to a close last week, but not before dropping quite a few bombshells. We'll discuss what the Supreme Court decided in matters relating to crisis pregnancy centers and free speech, public sector union dues, and President Trump's travel ban.
Jul 02, 2018
Good Behaviour #5: "Constitutional Hardball"
Justice Anthony Kennedy has announced his retirement. What now? We continue our series on Supreme Court vacancies, with Dan and Leah-- both former Kennedy clerks-- setting the stage.
Jun 29, 2018
OT2017 #30: "Most Ambitious Crossovers"
We take a running start and try to get through as many opinions as we can. We discuss gerrymandering, online sales tax, cell phone records, and we interview the man, the myth, the legend-- two-time Supreme Court winner Fane Lozman.
Jun 25, 2018
OT2017 #29: "Average Joe"
Live from New York, it's First Mondays! First, we discuss what #KaganStyle looks like. We'll also talk about why registering to vote shouldn't be so difficult, how to keep things chill at the polls, and which version of the dictionary is the best version.
Jun 18, 2018
OT2017 #28: "Stale Cake"
It's that rare and glorious beast of shows-- the three-mic episode. We're joined by Will Baude, Assistant Professor at the University of Chicago Law School, to break down recent opinions from the Supreme Court.
Jun 11, 2018
OT2017 #27: "Girl Scouts and Trick-or-Treaters"
We recap opinions in Lagos v. United States and Collins v. Virginia, as well as the DIG in City of Hays v. Vogt. Plus, we answer some hotline calls.
Jun 04, 2018
OT2017 #26: "The Murder Zone"
Leah joins Dan to talk about two new opinions, both written by Justice Gorsuch: Epic Systems Corp v. Lewis and Upper Skagit Indian Tribe v. Lundgren. We'll also recap some new grants for OT2018 and answer a few hotline calls.
May 28, 2018
OT2017 #25: "The Way The Chief Loves Mootness"
It's opinion season at the Supreme Court, and we have five decisions to go through. From sports betting, to rental cars, to shackling criminal defendants, we'll break them down so you're fully informed for your next trip to the office water cooler.
May 21, 2018
OT2017 #24: "Kudos To Whoever Did This"
We discuss two opinions in patent law cases with guests Roman Martinez and Willy Jay.
May 07, 2018
OT2017 #23: "After Dark"
We recap the oral arguments in the travel ban case, Trump v. Hawaii, as well as the fascinating separation of powers dispute, Lucia v. SEC. We also look at Jesner v. Arab Bank, one of the biggest opinions the Court released has released so far this Term.
Apr 30, 2018
OT2017 #22: "Cf. Everything"
We're live at the University of Akron School of Law to preview the Court's final—and perhaps its most important—sitting of October Term 2017.
Apr 23, 2018
OT2017 #21: "Under the Mattress"
Get ready for the final arguments of OT2017 with a preview of South Dakota v. Wayfair. Plus, with the help of a hotline call, we'll talk about what happens when 7 out of 9 justices might need to recuse themselves from a case.
Apr 16, 2018
OT2017 #20: "I Am The Split"
The March sitting goes out like a lamb... if a lamb symbolizes a 9-0 opinion written by Chief Justice Roberts. But first, we're going in like a lion and naming names in the War on Arbitration-- those Biglaw firms that require arbitration agreements.
Apr 02, 2018
OT2017 #19: "This Classroom Is Not Full"
Live from Yale Law School, it's First Mondays! We're joined by Linda Greenhouse to discuss the orders docket, recent opinions, last week's argument in NIFLA v. Becerra, and previews of this week's cases. Plus, we'll talk with Linda about some of her recent writing.
Mar 26, 2018
OT2017 #18: "Legal Faux Pas"
Leah Litman returns to the co-host chair to join Ian for a look ahead at the March sitting. There's also some SCOTUS trivia, birthday celebrations, overviews of granted cert petitions, and reliance on Melody's "bleep" file.
Mar 19, 2018
OT2017 #17: "Elephants Rarely Hide in Pajamas"
The Supreme Court has churned out some grants and opinions in the past few weeks, and at least a few of them are interesting. We'll talk about everything from the death penalty to bankruptcy. In-house expert Danielle D'Onfro joins us for the latter.
Mar 12, 2018
OT2017 #16: "Robots in Ireland"
The February sitting is over, but the argument recaps are just beginning. We welcome back NPR's Nina Totenberg to talk about four big cases from the past two weeks: Janus, Mansky, Microsoft, and Lozman.
Mar 05, 2018
OT2017 #15: "Respected By All Sides"
We're switching it up and spending the whole episode on one case: United States v. Microsoft Corp. You know about storing stuff on the Cloud-- but what does it mean for your privacy when the cloud is technically located in another country?
Feb 26, 2018
OT2017 #14: "Justice for Stormy"
The Supreme Court's long break is over and we're here to preview some of the most interesting cases from the February sitting, including Janus v. AFSCME, Lozman v. City of Riviera Beach, Currier v. Virginia, and Ohio v. American Express.
Feb 19, 2018
OT2017 #13: "Poker Face"
In the bleak midwinter, the Supreme Court gave us three opinions to mull over while we wait for the next argument session. We'll talk about them, plus the SOTU, #GorsuchStyle, and your calls to our hotline.
Feb 05, 2018
OT2017 #12: "False Idol"
It's a fed courts feast as we recap Dalmazzi v. United States with Stephen Vladeck, who argued in front of the Court on Tuesday.
Jan 22, 2018
OT2017 #11: "Numbing Effect"
We're in the middle of a jam-packed January sitting. To catch you up, we recap the argument in Husted, a case about voter rolls. We'll also talk about two death penalty cases-- one which requires summoning our trusty Habeas Wizard, Leah Litman.
Jan 15, 2018
OT2017 #10: "Under the Heat Lamp"
SCOTUS wakes up from its long winter's nap and gives us some cases to talk about. After some news and updates, we'll preview Car Day-- two cases involved vehicle searches, the Fourth Amendment, and Official First Mondays Predictions.
Jan 08, 2018
Amici #10 [UNLOCKED]: “Rotten Fruit Juice”
For the holidays, we sat down with wine expert (and Lecturer in Italian Studies at Berkeley) Dr. Danielle Callegari, for a discussion about the history of wine in America and the effects of the Court’s decision in Granholm v. Heald on the wine business.
Dec 15, 2017
OT2017 #9: "Peak SG"
It’s an action-packed episode worthy of an action-packed sitting of the Court! We'll recap the oral arguments in Masterpiece Cakeshop. We'll also talk with NPR's Nina Totenberg, who tells us what she noticed in the courtroom these past two weeks.
Dec 11, 2017
OT2017 #8: "Bespoke but Blank"
Is cake speech? It’s time to find out. This week, we preview Masterpiece Cakeshop, in which the Court will decide whether a baker may be compelled to make a cake for a same-sex wedding. Plus, a recap of Carpenter, the warrantless-location-tracking case.
Dec 04, 2017
OT2017 #7: "Keys to a Valet"
After recapping some SCOTUS news and grants, we dig into a preview of Carpenter v. United States with Orin Kerr.
Nov 27, 2017
OT2017 #6: "Year of Munsingwear"
We wrap up the November sitting with argument recaps, the first opinions of the term, and a very unusual certiorari petition that the Department of Justice filed in a hot-button case that involves both abortion and undocumented immigrants.
Nov 13, 2017
OT2017 #5: "Oglethorpe's Second Cousin"
We recap arguments in Wilson v. Sellers and Artis v. District of Columbia, and then we preview this week’s argument in Patchak v. Zinke, and debate why the Court cares about the separation-of-powers issue in the case. And, Leah gets a promotion.
Nov 06, 2017
OT2017 #4: "Wind, Diabetes, & Voluntary Retirements"
For our first-ever live show, we traveled to the University of Michigan—go Blue—and are joined by alumna Leah Litman. Before we ring in the November sitting, we discuss the important stuff: expensive sandwiches, factual errors, and the travel ban.
Oct 30, 2017
OT2017 #3: "Nowheresville" (ft. Nina Totenberg)
The first sitting of OT17 has come to a close, and Nina Totenberg joins us again to discuss the term so far. We've got recaps of Jesner v. Arab Bank and Hamer v. Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago, and a quick look at the December argument calendar.
Oct 16, 2017
OT2017 #2: "Who is the River Master?"
We made it through the first week of the term, and not without some bumps along the way. (Looking at you, new transcription company.) Misha Tseytlin, Solicitor General of Wisconsin, joins us to recap his argument in Gill v. Whitford, the partisan gerrymandering case. We'll also recap some immigration rearguments, look ahead to next week, and find out just how Justice Gorsuch likes his steak. This episode is sponsored by Ironclad, a software solution that streamlines contract creation processes, such as redlining and signature collection. For more information or to request a demo, visit
Oct 09, 2017
OT2017 #1: "A Very Nice Office"
It's the first Monday of the Supreme Court's October Term 2017, and the first episode of the second season of First Mondays. We'll catch up on SCOTUS news, sift through the grants that came out of the long conference, and preview some of the cases to be argued this coming week. In other words: we're back. This episode is sponsored by Warby Parker, which offers boutique-quality eyewear at a revolutionary price point. To get five pairs of glasses to try on at home for free, go to
Oct 02, 2017
In Recess #4: "Stone Soup"
The Supreme Court did juuuust enough to warrant us stepping back into Historic First Mondays Studios. We’ll talk about the recently released November argument calendar, the latest in the travel ban, and whether or not Justice Gorsuch should give a speech at the Trump Hotel in DC. We also talk about Supreme Court specialization, the Solicitor General's office, and how to efficiently fact check our show with Willy Jay of Goodwin Procter's appellate practice.
Sep 11, 2017
Amici Teaser: "Rotten Fruit Juice"
We’re still about a month away from the kick-off of OT2017, and the Court has been pretty quiet. But we’ve been hard at working making some bonus episodes for our Patreon subscribers. First, we talked a little longer to John Elwood, who you heard a couple of weeks ago in the episode "Third Class Webelo." Turns out, he’s kind of a big deal. Then, this week, we got out of the law school and into the vineyard with professional wine consultant Danielle Callegari. They’re both great conversations, and they’ll help tide you over until Court is in session. Become a subscriber at It’s just five bucks a month, and you’ll get to hear all the rest of the bonus episodes we’ve made. Thanks for listening, and stay firstie.
Aug 28, 2017
In Recess #3: "Third Class Webelo"
While Ian is off on a boat somewhere, or maybe in the wilderness of Croatia (we're not super sure), Dan and Leah get up to speed on a surprisingly busy summer week at the Supreme Court. In additions to some briefs showing up, one case got the DIG treatment. And it's a bankruptcy case, so we bring in resident bankruptcy expert Danielle D'Onfro to make it understandable for the rest of us. Then, we have an interview with the great John Elwood, partner in Vinson & Elkins' Appellate practice group, and creator of SCOTUSblog's Relist Watch.
Aug 14, 2017
In Recess #2: "#BadLawyerGate"
To celebrate our new partnership with SCOTUSblog, we're unlocking one of our favorite bonus episodes for everyone to enjoy. It's an interview with Lisa Blatt of Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer. With a record of 33-2, she's one of the winningest Supreme Court advocates ever. She talks with us about what she goes through in preparing for a case, and the responsibilities advocates have toward their clients. To listen to the rest of our bonus episodes, visit Five bucks a month gets you access to all the ones we've out out so far, and all the ones we have coming up.
Aug 07, 2017
In Recess #1: "Crushing Negs"
The Supreme Court maybe now be in recess for the summer, but there's still stuff going on. In our universe, we're pumped for a new partnership with everyone's favorite Supreme Court website, SCOTUSblog. Not to be confused with the Supreme Court's actual website, which got a much-anticipated makeover sometime after we recorded this episode. Plus, the October argument calendar was released, and those two weeks alone are already more interesting than all of OT2016 combined. Finally, we had a great conversation with Kannon Shanmugam, Supreme Court advocate extraordinaire and head of Williams & Connolly's SCOTUS and Appellate Litigation practice.
Jul 31, 2017
First Mondays on Oral Argument
To kick off our summer schedule, we're pleased to rebroadcast the episode of Oral Argument we appeared on, which originally aired May 6th, 2017. We joined Christian Turner and Joe Miller to talk about physics conundrums, the politics of Supreme Court nominations, and radically changing the rules governing the Supreme Court’s docket. For more episodes of Oral Argument, visit
Jul 17, 2017
The Annual: OT2016 in Review (ft. Nina Totenberg)
It’s the finale of our first season! To celebrate all that was OT2016, and to look to the year ahead, we went to the queen of SCOTUS radio herself: Nina Totenberg. We also dish out superlatives— best dig at an advocate, best quip in an argument, worst opinion, etc. And you’ll notice that we replaced the theme music with something a little more, well, custom. Thanks for an amazing first season of First Mondays, and #stayfirstie. Much like the justices, we’ll be switching to a summer schedule. You can expect two episode a month, and if that’s not enough, become a Patreon subscriber to get two bonus episodes each month, too! Sign up for just $5/month at
Jul 10, 2017
OT2016 #27: "Not Respectfully"
We couldn't possibly keep it short for the last recap episode of OT2016. We all know the last week of the term means all the blockbuster opinions get announced, and we're here to help you make sense of them. And for Trinity Lutheran and the travel ban, we call in the big guns in the form of Professor Marty Lederman. So while you're driving to a cookout or watching fireworks in the back of a pickup truck, celebrate the good ol' US of A by listening to two glorious hours about her Supreme Court.
Jul 03, 2017
OT2016 #26: "Five Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique"
It’s the penultimate recap for the term, wherein the justices hath bestowed upon us twelve (12) new opinions in one week. Time for a lengthy—but spirited—Opin-o-rama! We pick out a few of our favorites to go in depth, and then we institute Lightning Round Rules to cover the rest. Then, it’s time for some game theory, so they say, as we try to figure out who is writing which of the remaining six opinions. Welcome to the Cyber Age, and thanks for listening.
Jun 26, 2017
OT2016 #25: "Little Longer in the Oven"
With just a couple of weeks to go, we're racing toward the OT2016 finish line. Plenty of blunders, orders, and opinions to address-- including Justice Gorsuch's first opinion. Plus, we'll discuss one of the biggest cases of the year that has, in our opinion, made the world worse.
Jun 19, 2017
OT2016 #24: "Six Degrees of Caleb Nelson"
We hash out another week of SCOTUS news, this time with guest host Leah Litman. Yes, we recap orders and opinions, but more importantly, we finally solve a weeks-long First Monday mystery: who began the clerks' happy hour tradition? And don't stop listening after the credits. Leah came armed with Beckles-related puns, and you need them in your life.
Jun 12, 2017
OT2016 #23: "A Necessary Evil"
One of us got married this weekend; the other read the opinions. Listen to the episode and try to figure who did what.
Jun 05, 2017
OT2016 #22: "Golden Phoenix"
After a brief break for a trip to Vegas, we're back with a jackpot of opinions to recap. Yep, we break down each of the six opinions that have been released in the last couple of weeks. We've got everything from gerrymandering to patents to arbitration agreements to bankruptcy. Plenty to keep you entertained while you're stuck in holiday traffic.
May 29, 2017
Amici Teaser: "Hunting for Truffles"
If you need your First Mondays fix, there's a new bonus episode for Patreon subscribers! We talk all things cert pool, and (spoiler alert) Dan and Ian really disagree. Subscribe at
May 15, 2017
OT2016 #21: "Good Snake"
As we ease into the argument-free season of the term, we recap some grants, take a look at the opinion in Bank of American Corp. v. Miami, and relish a great hotline call full of 90s clerking gossip. And speaking of gossip, what's the deal with Justice Gorsuch not joining the cert pool? We have some theories.
May 08, 2017
OT2016 #20: "Who Is Calling Justice Breyer?"
Recapping the last arguments for October Term 2016, and more.
May 01, 2017
OT2016 #19: "Cusp of a Revelation"
It was a pretty big week at the Supreme Court. First, we talk about what the heck is going with expiring execution drugs in Arkansas, and how that plays out within SCOTUS chambers. Then, for the first time since the beginning of this podcast, we had nine justices at oral argument. And even though Perry v. Merit Systems Protections Board is kind of a boring case, Justice Gorsuch gave us something to talk about. Then, we get into the long-awaited Trinity Lutheran case, complete with audio from Justices Kennedy and Breyer. Finally, it's our last oral argument preview of the term-- but don't worry, we still have a couple months of opinions to look forward to.
Apr 24, 2017
OT2016 #18: "Not Exactly Mr. Bluebook"
It's the beginning of the end of OT2016— the first week of the last sitting of the year. We're coming at you with two big previews. First, what do old tires and religious expression have to do with each other? Oh, only the biggest case of the year, probably: Trinity Lutheran Church Of Columbia v. Comer. And then, just how ineffective does counsel have to be for it to truly prejudice the client? Plus, we've got hotline calls, a new QP game, and a tantalizing preview a much-sought-after brief from Texas.
Apr 17, 2017
Amici Teaser: "Let Me Tell You How Sweet It Is"
We've been cranking out some awesome interview shows for our Patreon subscribers. And if you're not one of them, well, you're missing out. Here are snippets from the two latest bonus episodes, one with Rakesh Kilaru, former associate counsel to President Obama, and one with Misha Tseytlin, Solicitor General of Wisconsin. If you want to hear the rest of their conversations, it's not too late to become a Patreon subscriber! Your monthly donations help us keep growing, improving, and doing more episodes with the experts you want to hear from.
Apr 10, 2017
Good Behaviour #4: "The Justin Bieber Standard"
In our fourth episode of tracking Judge Neil Gorsuch’s nomination to the Supreme Court, we get into the greatest hits of his confirmation hearings. How do you pronounce his name? Does the "frozen trucker case" invoke the absurdity doctrine? Which Democrat Senator threw him a "softball" of a question? Plus, we'll do some quick recaps of arguments and opinions, which may involve another inductee to the #BadLawyerGate Hall of Fame. And stick around after the music for a friendly discussion of amicus briefs (get it? friendly!). If you want more First Mondays, become a monthly subscriber at For just $5/month, you get bonus episodes and access to the Amici Slack channel, where you can procrastinate with fellow Firsties. Feeling generous? Want a leg up on your coworkers or classmates? Donating $20/month gets you access to live streams of us recording the episodes that everyone else hears days later.
Apr 03, 2017
OT2016 #17: "Kill Any Potential Hipness"
This week it’s First Mondays XL, with more Supreme Court content than you can shake a gavel at. First off, we respond to a bunch of listener feedback about stuff we got wrong, stuff we got right, and stuff no one can quite figure out. (Here’s looking at you, “statement respecting the denial.”) After that, we unpack some opinions about the copyright issues around cheerleading uniforms, the statute of limitations around claiming damages, and the rights a child with autism has under IDEA. Plus, we try out our radio voices to get through a weird analogy about British rock bands in NLRB v. SW General, Inc. For one of our coolest argument recaps yet, we go straight to the source: Wisconsin’s Solicitor General, Misha Tseytlin, who had his first argument in Murr v. Wisconsin last week. You’ll be surprised, as he was, about who gave him the hardest time from the bench. Then, we look ahead to Tuesday’s crimmigration argument in Lee v. United States. Just how ineffective does his counsel have to be proven to keep Mr. Lee from getting deported? Fortunately, he has a super cool advocate now who will most definitely be wearing a bow tie to Court. If you want more First Mondays, become a monthly subscriber at For just $5/month, you get bonus episodes and access to the Amici Slack channel, where you can procrastinate with fellow Firsties. Feeling generous? Want a leg up on your coworkers or classmates? Donating $20/month gets you access to live streams of us recording the episodes that everyone else hears days later.
Mar 27, 2017
OT2016 #16: "His Elegant Fountain Pen"
We took a week off, and we're making it up to you with an episode chock full of Supreme Court goodness. We've got orders! Opinions! Dissents! Concurrences in denial! The question of whether or not Justice Breyer has become a death penalty abolitionist! With that, we tie up the last sitting and look forward to the next. There's a full argument calendar ahead, so we preview two cases that piqued our interests: Microsoft Corp. v. Baker (aka one of the Scalia Three) and City of Los Angeles v. Mendez. Whether you're more interested in class action suits about X-Boxes or complicated cases arising from officer-involved shootings, it's going to be a week full of lofty rhetoric. We'll get you ready for it.
Mar 20, 2017
OT2016 #15: "The Roller Derby Across the Street"
We’ve got a jam-packed episode to wrap up the Supreme Court’s February sitting. As we analyze Hernandez v. Mesa, it becomes clear that we have another #BadLawyerGate situation on our hands. Guess which justice (figuratively) rips up that attorney’s argument right before his very eyes— we have the audio for evidence. We also respond to some criticism we got for our take on Gloucester County School Board v. G.G. Let the record show that we can dish it out, and we can take it. Plus, hear the gem of a closing statement that won one lawyer our coveted Advocate of the Month Award, and stay tuned after the credits for the reason Dan skipped out on hosting last week. It has not one, but two jurisdictional hooks for discussion.
Mar 06, 2017
OT2016 #14: "Stone Cold, Lead Pipe Lock"
This week we try to get to the bottom of a dissent to denial from Justice Sotomayor. (Two words: firing squad.) We also talk to immigration attorney Andrea Sáenz about the upcoming case, Esquivel-Quintana v. Sessions, and Leah teaches us the key difference between an amicus brief and an animus brief (ba-dum-tsssss). And finally, hear a list of Supreme Court Justices who Judge Posner of the 7th Circuit deems "pretty good." (Hint: it's a short list.)
Feb 27, 2017
Amici Teaser: #BadLawyerGate
Hear an excerpt of our interview with powerhouse Supreme Court advocate Lisa Blatt. She has argued in front of the Court 34 times and has only lost twice. After Dan and Ian started a Twitter fight about first-time Supreme Court advocates, we wanted to turn to an expert. If you want to hear the whole thing, it's not too late to become a subscriber! Visit our website,, and click on the Support tab. Your monthly donations help us keep growing, improving, and doing more episodes with the experts you want to hear from.
Feb 22, 2017
OT2016 #13: "Harriet Miers Bobblehead"
After a long break, the Supreme Court is back in session, and we resume our regularly schedule programming. We analyze the March and April argument calendars (you'll never believe which case finally got scheduled), and we take a deep dive into this week's big case: Hernandez v. Mesa. Plus, we'll update you on our Patreon campaign, and answer an extremely important question that slid into our DMs.
Feb 20, 2017
Good Behaviour #2: "Disheartening and Demoralizing"
In this second episode of the Good Behaviour miniseries, Dan and Ian continue to chronicle the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. What is it with Judge Gorsuch and his yearbooks? How much cash did he have on hand in 2006? And will he have more people show up to this confirmation hearing than his last?
Feb 13, 2017
Good Behaviour #1: "Grist of a Judge's Life"
We debut a brand new series, "Good Behaviour," to track the confirmation process of Judge Neil Gorsuch, who President Trump just nominated to fill Justice Scalia's vacant seat. For an insider's perspective, Dan and Ian talk to Jason Murray, who clerked for Judge Gorsuch before clerking for Justice Kagan. They also dissect some of Judge Gorsuch's opinions, answer a hotline question about his homeland, and reveal the surprising person Judge Gorsuch called first after receiving the nomination.
Feb 01, 2017
OT2016 #12: "That Makes No Sense"
This week, Dan and Ian have a conversation with Adam Liptak, the Supreme Court correspondent for the New York Times. During argument recaps, you'll learn the circumstances under which you should rethink all the choices that led you to argue in front of the Supreme Court. Plus, Dan fills us in on a new grant, Ian reminisces about the last inauguration, Firsties call the hotline with great questions, and another surprise caller gives us a twist on the Questions Demented game.
Jan 23, 2017
OT2016 #11: "Close to Using a Swear"
Last week, the Supreme Court heard its first arguments of 2017, and Dan & Ian have the recaps. And as we gear up for arguments in crimmigration case Dimaya v. Lynch, First Mondays welcomes attorney Brian Goldman. It's the first time we've hosted a member of counsel in an active case, and we celebrate by foisting another round of the new QP game upon him.
Jan 16, 2017
OT2016 #10: "You Would Wear a Stroller"
The Supreme Court is (finally) back in session, and Dan and Ian are ready with previews of Expressions Hair Design v. Schneiderman, and Nelson v. Colorado. They'll also talk to Gabe Roth of Fix the Court about Chief Justice Robert's recent controversial recusal. Plus: -Which US Representative should be forced to hang out with the shunning guy -What outdated mode of gentlemen's dress is a step beneath morning dress -How to explain complicated legal concepts to just about anybody If you like this episode, send it to the smartest legal mind you know. They'll appreciate the compliment. Then, email/tweet/call in your own dumbed down QPs. And as always, subscribe!
Jan 09, 2017
101 First Street #2: "The Most Exciting Parts"
In this second episode in our 101 First Street series, we go inside oral arguments at the Supreme Court. Who talks first? How long until they get interrupted? After it's over, then what?
Jan 02, 2017
OT2016 #9: "What's Not on That February Calendar"
In this holiday bonus episode of First Mondays, we introduce our new producer, Melody Rowell. We also break down the Court's new grants, the release of the February calendar, and the supplemental briefing order in Jennings.
Dec 30, 2016
101 First Street #1: "Ser-shee-or-RARE-eye"
How does the Supreme Court actually work? How does the Court decide what cases to hear? How do you pronounce "certiorari?" What's the difference between a relist and a reschedule? Why are some briefs grey?
Dec 26, 2016
OT2016 #8: "Don't Think It's Going To Be 9-0"
The Slants have released a new song, the Supreme Court has released opinions, and Justice Breyer has got an idea for an innovative gold heist.
Dec 13, 2016
OT2016 #7: "Do We Even Really Know the Name?"
The holiday season is in full swing—with the first opinion announcement of the year.
Dec 05, 2016
OT2016 #6: "Live By The Sword, Die By The Sword"
It's a jam-packed holiday episode of First Mondays!
Nov 28, 2016
OT2016 #5: "Why Do We Wear Robes?"
Justice Breyer's got theories about fashion, and the First Mondays team is on it. This week, we begin with the special meeting of the Supreme Court's bar to honor Justice Scalia, and the Chief Justice's courtesy vote to stay an execution. We also discuss last week's arguments on the False Claims Act, cheerleading uniforms, and laches, and look ahead to this week, when the Court will hear arguments in major cases concerning children born abroad to citizen parents and the scope of the President's ability to temporarily fill vacancies in the government.
Nov 07, 2016
OT2016 #4: "Federal Circuit, Never Change"
The November sitting has begun! This week, we begin with Judge Posner's low opinion of the Supreme Court, and the new grants concerning gender identity, free speech for sex offenders, and the consequences of California's statutory-rape law for immigrants who are convicted of violating it. We also look ahead to next week's False Claims Act argument in Rigsby, the copyrightability of cheerleading uniforms in Star Athletica, and a case about laches and patents, SCA Hygiene Products—which seems oddly familiar, in more ways than one.
Oct 31, 2016
OT2016 #3: "Dumb and Disrespectful"
We bring the October sitting to a close, recap Pena-Rodriguez and Samsung, and make a futile attempt to predict this month's assignments. Plus: RBG on Kaepernick.
Oct 17, 2016
OT2016 #2: "The Worst Part About Being a Supreme Court Justice"
Ian and Dan recap the first week back at the Supreme Court, including Justice Breyer's strange theories about Kim Kardashian.
Oct 10, 2016
OT2016 #1: "The Satisfaction of Giving a Gift"
In the inaugural episode of First Mondays, Ian and Dan break down the first week of the Supreme Court's new Term.
Oct 03, 2016