By Wes Feese
Every year, the U.S. Supreme Court collects approximately 10,000 petitions for cases to be appealed to the nation’s highest court. Of the thousands of requests, only 75 to 80 are accepted. Many of the most decorated, high-profile attorneys in America will go their entire careers without ever contending in a Supreme Court case. Last Tuesday, however, one of Adair County’s own – Steven Loy – stood before the justices in Washington, D.C. and argued a case that hopes to settle a debate about when companies can file false advertising lawsuits.
“When you say those words – Mr. Chief Justice – I don’t think anybody can do that and not have some bit of nervousness run through them,” Loy said in an interview Wednesday morning. “But I think we were well prepared and I thought we made some good arguments.”
Loy, 44, has represented Lexmark International, Inc., for more than a decade, and defended the case after a different company made a false advertising allegation. He’s the first Columbia-raised attorney to ever argue before the Supreme Court.
“It’s quite an honor,” Loy said. “Standing up in front of the Supreme Court and making an argument, that moment is one I will never forget. I guess the best way to describe the experience was ‘awe-inspiring.’”
Arguing the case in D.C., Loy was fortunate to have some familiar faces on hand to observe the proceeding, including his father, other family members, and former colleagues.
“We even had some retired executives at Lexmark that took the trip on their own nickel. It meant a lot to me on a personal level and I think it speaks well to Lexmark and the loyalty they have by even their former employees coming,” Loy said. “Having all of the support that we had, having my father to be able to sort of walk down that road with me was meaningful.”
It might have been even more meaningful to Loy’s father.
“I’m obviously very proud of him, and I thought he did very well,” the elder Loy said of his son. “Outside of D.C., there are not a lot of attorneys that ever have that opportunity.”
The case may not be resolved for months, but Loy said he’s comfortable with the points he made.
“We prepared very hard and we felt like we made some good arguments,” Loy said. “The questioning in any Supreme Court case is always aggressive and intense, but the questions that they asked were questions that we anticipated.”
Loy was born and raised in Columbia, graduating from Adair County High School in 1987 and studying at Lindsey Wilson College for a year before completing his undergraduate and law degrees at the University of Kentucky.
Ever the professional, Loy’s not focused on his personal accomplishments, however grand they may be, instead keeping his attention squarely on the case he’s working.
“Regardless of what happens at the Supreme Court, there will be further steps in the lawsuit,” Loy said. “Some claims remain at the trial, so we’ll just have to see what the opinion [of the Court] is and take it from there.”