Tacy F. Flint
Sidley Austin LLP
▶Supreme Court and Appellate litigation
40 Under Class – 2017
Tacy Flint in just her short legal career has become one of the go-to lawyers in the Chicago area for appellate matters with the highest stakes. And during this time, she has built an appellate practice and track record that would be the envy of many lawyers boasting far more years of experience.
Today, Flint is one of the leading members of Sidley Austin’s Supreme Court and Appellate litigation practice area team. In this role, she has taken on cases involving intellectual property, antitrust issues, securities, federal preemption, federal jurisdiction and First Amendment issues.
It’s led to a career that has been as varied as it has been successful.
“Tacy has a stellar reputation as an appellate advocacy superstar,” said Sarah Konsky, director of the Supreme Court and Appellate Advocacy Clinic at the University of Chicago Law School. “Her briefs stand out because Tacy crafts a compelling narrative, intertwining the facts of the case with key legal precedents to create a cohesive articulation of her client’s position.”
Flint’s long record of successes are evidence of just how talented this young attorney is. Judge Gary Feinerman of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, who practiced with Flint before he joined the bench, cites a case they worked on in the U.S. Supreme Court, CSX Transportation, Inc. v. Alabama Department of Revenue. Flint drafted CSX’s petition for certiorari and other certiorari documents. The result? The Supreme Court agreed to take the case, impressive considering the small number of cases the Supreme Court hears each term.
Flint then drafted CSX’s brief on the merits, and helped persuade the court to decide the case in favor of her client. Thanks in no small part to this work, CSX won reversal of the 11th Circuit’s decision barring CSX from challenging a state tax as discriminatory against the railroad.
“It is evident that Tacy is an outstanding advocate,” Feinerman said. “Her legal writing is clear, meticulous and insightful. She routinely persuades whichever court she is before with clear-eyed analysis that is well-supported in the facts of the case and the applicable law.”
John Wunderlich with Abbott Laboratories said that despite how talented Flint is in the courtroom, it is unfair to characterize her as an appellate litigator only. Wunderlich said that Flint deserves praise, too, for her ability to craft arguments and develop strategies.
“From my experience, she’s the heavyweight legal thinker and strategist you call when you want the knockout punch, be it an early dispositive motion or a Supreme Court brief,” Wunderlich said. “Tacy has a unique ability to tell her client’s story. A brief or motion written by Tacy does not simply set out key cases and facts. It builds the narrative.”
When she’s not representing her clients, Flint volunteers her time as a mentor to young lawyers. For many years, she has been active with the University of Chicago Law School Women’s Mentoring Program. She also participates each year as a judge in the annual Bigelow Moot Court Argument.