Monday, April 17, 2006

Things Learned From Oral Arguement

So... after enduring right of passage that is the oral arguments I have figured out some things that one should not do, if they find themselves arguing in front of the appellete court (or in theory, any court).

1. When asked a question, do not hold up a single finger to indicate that the court should wait one minute. Instead, answer the question immediatly, and then attempt to regain your thought.

2. If you do stick up finger and the court makes a remark about how you shouldn't, do not roll you eyes, sigh loudly and say, "fine, whatever".

3. If you get stumped by a question, take a few seconds of silence to craft a not stutter, shuffle your notes and then ignore the question and resume your arguement.

4. Do not say something similar to, "I think theres a case that says....", actually know if there is or isn't a case and know its name, tell the court its name and from which court this case is from.

5. When asked by court about above mentioned case, don't tell them its not important if you've based most of your arguement on it.

6. Don't use casual language like "yea", "like", "damn it" and the like, also try not to swear.

7. "its because he's black, obviously" is never the right answer.

8. It's "may it please the court" not "to please the court" or "I will please the court by...." you'll just make the rest of us laugh.

9. Its key to know which side you are arguing. If you're representing the commonwealth of VA do not introduce yourself by calling yourself the "defense" especially if your side is initiating the appeal and especially since defendant/plaintiff are not the right terms for the appellete level.

10. We were all nervous, there were silences, stuttering, and lots of ummmmsss...... however, running out of the room is not going to get your point across effectively.

Well... I guess that should do it. As you can see, fun was had by all. I have blocked out the rest of the fiasco. Good luck to any who hasn't reached the end of that particular adventure yet :)

First Year :)


Blogger Ally said...

Another lesson...if you're standing behind a podium that does not conceal your legs/feet, do not take your shoe off and rest your foot on your knee. Judges just don't like that.

5:10 PM  
Blogger LawNut said...

The use of "like" was probably my biggest flaw during oral arguments...I think the "like" count was up to about 30 during my ten minute argument...maybe I need to work on that for the future!

6:43 PM  
Blogger Too Elle said...

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8:50 AM  

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