Monday, August 5, 2013

Oral Argument articles & More

Plenty of juicy items to start off your appellate week...
Today's papers are full of articles today of appellate interest:
  • The DJ profiles 4/1's Justice Benke. (And the DJ's "Coming this week" subscriber email notes that 4/1's Justice Aaron will be profiled this week too. But it notes that both of these profiles are for judges of the "United States Court of Appeals - 4th District." Oops. Oh, well.)
  • The DJ also has an article titled "Spat between California and Idaho politicans could endanger 9th Circuit nominee -- Senators from the two states call dibs on Stephen Trott's former circuit seat," about John Owens's nomination.
"Trott's seat in Boise, Idaho, has been subject to a territorial tussle between the senators from California and Idaho for years. Things intensified in 2004 when Trott went senior and the seat became open and up for grabs. The rift has left it unfilled ever since as the longest-standing judicial vacancy in the U.S."
  • Justice Gilbert has a column titled "Insidious movement targest elderly attorneys," taking umbrage at a proposed State Bar requirement for lawyers over 50 to take MCLE on recognizing cognitive impairment.
And over at the Recorder, the In Practice "Your Skills" feature provides three articles on Appellate argument:
An argument before an appellate panel is often the last opportunity an attorney has to influence the outcome of a case. Gary Watt of Archer Norris explains how both attorney and client can benefit from oral argument, even if changing the panel's mind is not in the stars. Horvitz & Levy attorneys advise that the trend in California appellate courts is to give attorneys some guidance as to how they should focus their argument. However, all the background information cannot replace adequate preparation. Sheppard Mullin attorneys offer their top 10 strategies for preparing to argue before an appellate court. Lastly, we've looked to what appellate judges had to say about their expectations of counsel in oral argument.

The Stumpf/Vogel/Cummins articles offers these "Top 10 Tips to Prepare for Oral Argument":
(1) Reread the briefs and the trial court's ruling.
(2) Re-familiarize yourself with what is (and isn't) in the record.
(3) Make an outline (but not a "script").
(4) Prepare "greatest hits —facts" and "greatest hits — law."
(5) Review and update your most important authorities.
(6) Write a "questions and answers" memorandum.
(7) Decide how to start.
(8) Talk with your friends and colleagues.
(9) Think about making a tactical concession.
(10) Know your panel.