Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Federal Circuit hears argument at Pepperdine

Image result for pepperdine school of law
Image result for federal circuit courtYesterday morning the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals had a special sitting at Pepperdine School of Law in Malibu. Details here.

Pepperdine also gets a mention in last year's Supreme Court novel Tuttle In The Balance (about 3/4's of the way through, it's mentioned that fictional Supreme Court Justice Garabelli had "a background as a law professor at Pepperdine for a dozen years"). Speaking of Tuttle in the Balance, one amusing passage of appellate interest concerns a Supreme Court argument described like this:

"one of the nation's top First Amendment experts" gets up to argue, but "he's more of a scholar than an appellate advocate, so the court's conservatives eat him for lunch, make him wish he was back in his office at Harvard grading papers. The Chief mocks him. Garabelli ties him in knots. Cornelius gets two "[laughter]"s at his expense. The lawyer can't make a straightforward argument that appeals to anyone's common sense; he's too wrapped up in his esoteric theory and obscure scholarship to score any points. Ed [Tuttle] almost feels bad for him, considers jumping in to his defense, but then decides such an intervention would be fruitless and unnecessary. The guy should have practiced more. The client should have hired somebody else. In any event, since the justices are almost never moved to change their minds by anything any lawyer ever says during oral argument, the advocate's poor performance has no real effect, except on the professor's future ability to secure high-profile oral argument gigs."