Friday, December 9, 2016

Justice Manella Podcast

Today's DJ Friday Podcast features Justice Nora Manella, who (as the DJ ad puts it) "chats life, law, and best appellate practices." The podcast features her thoughts about her childhood (her father was a tax attorney-- or was he taxidermist? As a child, she wasn't sure and didn't much care), her love of opera, her 5th Circuit clerkship (as the first "girl" clerk for Judge John Minor Wisdom), working at OMM, her transitions to public service and to the judiciary, differences between state and federal practice, differences between trial court practice and appellate work, and the importance of lunch!
"All law, all the time!"

On brief writing: "Organization, clarity, and concision, are what we long for in briefs, but only rarely get." Introductions (two pages long at the most) are "terribly important." Really good appellate practice is "a skill and an art."

On oral argument: The biggest flaw at oral argument is advocates who are not truly listening to the questions being asked by the bench. Strong advocates are nimble, and know when to pivot to a different issue.