oral argument

Home / oral argument
9 Oct, 2019

Supreme Court Gives Lawyers Two Uninterrupted Minutes

2019-10-09T14:20:28-05:00October 9th, 2019|Tags: , , , |

  Starting Monday, attorneys who appear before the Court are allotted two minutes of uninterrupted time at the beginning of oral argument.  It may not seem like much, but those familiar with recent trends recognize it as a significant departure from longstanding courtroom procedure. Today’s Supreme Court is known as a “hot bench,” wherein some [...]

27 Dec, 2017

Oral Argument at the Supreme Court

2019-03-18T18:47:13-05:00December 27th, 2017|Tags: , , , |

Some attorneys view oral argument as a mere formality, particularly in courts where judges actually read party briefs in advance.  Counsel may think, “what can a few minutes of argument add to what a judge has already learned from reading pages-and-pages of my well researched, highly-persuasive brief?” But, as wise lawyers know, oral argument can [...]

3 Nov, 2015

“Do Not’s” – as Mandated by the Supreme Court

2019-03-18T18:47:24-05:00November 3rd, 2015|Tags: , , , , |

  In the Supreme Court’s Guide for Counsel in Cases to be Argued, the Court provides a detailed and often entertaining list of tips for attorneys preparing cases for oral argument.  The phrase “do not” appears 15 times in the 19 page handbook.  Here are some of the more interesting “suggestions.” Do not “correct” a [...]

20 Oct, 2015

Sex and the Supreme Court Advocate

2019-03-18T18:47:24-05:00October 20th, 2015|Tags: , , , |

Twenty-eight counselors of law will argue before the Supreme Court this month.  Twenty-seven advocates will be men.  One will be a woman.  Put another way, you had a better chance of having your “paid” petition for writ of certiorari granted during the last Term (approximately 5 percent) than having your counsel of record be a [...]

15 Sep, 2015

Supreme Court Visitors Guide to Oral Argument

2019-03-18T18:47:25-05:00September 15th, 2015|Tags: , , , , , |

Some lawyers view oral argument as a mere formality, especially in courts that make a practice of reading briefs in advance.  These attorneys think, ‘what can a few minutes of argument add to what a judge has already learned from reading pages-and-pages of my well researched, persuasive brief?.’ But as wise lawyers know, oral argument [...]

13 Nov, 2014

A Primer on Oral Argument at the Supreme Court

2019-03-18T18:47:32-05:00November 13th, 2014|Tags: , , |

The scariest sentence in legal lexicon may well begin with the words: “Mr. Chief Justice, and may it please the Court…”  As noted by the Court’s Guide for Counsel, advocates must first utter these nine words before trumpeting a client’s case in front of the most inquisitive minds in the country.  In fact, at least [...]

17 Feb, 2012

Oral Arguments But No Briefs

2012-02-17T05:09:39-06:00February 17th, 2012|Tags: , , , |

In between reading gems, such as first-year law school textbooks, I've been reading David C. Frederick's book, Supreme Court And Appellate Advocacy. The book starts with a historical narrative of the Supreme Court. Surprisingly, the first decades of Supreme Court practice were geared around oral argument, and not written briefs. In fact, there were no written briefs! And [...]