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Posted on November 12th, 2015

Carlsmith Attorneys File Amicus Brief In Supreme Court Case


HONOLULU - November 12, 2015 -Attorneys from Honolulu based law firm Carlsmith Ball yesterday filed a brief in the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of 36 former high-ranking officers and civilian leaders of the armed forces. The amicus curiae brief was jointly filed with Greenberg Traurig LLP in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, which examines the constitutionality of the University of Texas' race-conscious admissions policy.

The brief urges the U.S. Supreme Court to consider the impact that affirmative action admissions policies have on the effectiveness of the military, which depends heavily on colleges and universities as a source for a highly qualified and racially diverse officer corps. The brief argues that modest and carefully tailored racial preferences are still needed in college and university admissions offices, and are especially critical to military recruitment efforts through college ROTC programs.

Dec. 9 marks the second time the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments and consider Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, in what is expected to be one of several major high-profile cases of the new term.

Michael Purpura, a Carlsmith Ball partner, served as counsel of record on the brief. Purpura is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, a former assistant U.S. attorney, and former associate counsel to the president of the United States. Kenji Price, of counsel to Carlsmith Ball, an Army Ranger, and another former assistant U.S. attorney, served as co-counsel on the brief.

About Carlsmith Ball LLP

Carlsmith Ball LLP is one of the largest law firms in the Pacific region with offices in Honolulu, Hilo, Kona, Maui, and Los Angeles. Our attorneys are recognized as leaders in the industry, named in the 2016 edition of The Best Lawyers in America® and ranked among "America's Leading Lawyers for Business" by Chamber and Partners USA. For more than 150 years, Carlsmith Ball has provided clients innovative and results-oriented representation in sophisticated commercial and financial transactions and in complex arbitration and litigation matters. For more information about the firm, please visit