Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Appellate advice

Texas Lawyer mag talks to Edith Jones (h/t), which was of sufficient interest to me that I actually watched the 4-minute video.

(Digression: I hate internet video. I read quickly, so scanning blogs doesn't take too much time, but 4 minutes is 4 minutes -- or rather, 5 or 6, when the video keeps halting.)

Anyway, to spare you the trouble, here's the skinny. First, 5 tips for lawyers:

(1) Have a beginning, middle, and end to your argument. Get the court's attention, present your analysis, and have something to end with.

(2) Know the record cold. (Duh, but the judges keep having to tell us this.)

(3) Don't address the court as "you guys" (this is "becoming a little more frequent").

(4) Give case cites, particularly to authorities not in your brief.

(5) Update your authorities the day before argument.

Judge Jones says yes, oral argument can change the court's mind, particularly in helping it to see what the critical issues are in a case.

Finally, having a succinct narrative can help the court, but "don't start at the beginning of the world."

No comments:

Post a Comment