Monday, March 01, 2010

The three stages of oral argument preparation

1. What is my case about?

2. What will the court think my case is about?

3. What color tie shall I wear?

... I'm down to no. 3 now. Scalia & Garner say "dark red or blue." I think that's a bit restrictive, particularly since "dark red" is difficult to find in a form easily distinguished from "maroon," and I don't want to look like I'm dressed for court as a Mississippi State fan.

I have a new red tie I'd like to wear (we're premising this on a navy-blue suit & white shirt), and have managed to make myself worry it's *too* red. And doesn't Jason Compson find a red tie incredible? But then, isn't he a complete monster? And why am I looking for fashion tips in a 1929 Faulkner novel?

My favorite tie is navy and light green, but I am assured it's not a "power" tie. I'm not sure what powers my tie is supposed to give me -- hypnosis would be nice.


  1. May I suggest a race-track suit and a rainbow tie?

    More from Justice Jackson, as quoted in Sept. 3, 1951 Time Magazine: "On your first appearance, do not waste your time or ours telling us so. We are likely to discover for ourselves that you are a novice, but will think none the less of you for it . . . Neither disparage yourself nor flatter the justices. We think well enough of ourselves already . . ."

    Read more:,9171,821601,00.html#ixzz0gz2FJ3MG

  2. Two questions, and it's all that matter

    Why should you win?

    Why should we give a fuck?

  3. I'd seen the race-track suit quote, Rebelyell, but not the Time article. Thank you!

    ... I defer to NMC's greater experience on the first two questions. Though # 2 appears to be at least partly foreclosed by the court's having requested argument where neither side asked for it. (Which at the MSSC generally meant that someone had written a poor brief.)