Why do I bring this up? Because if you are an attorney that ever does oral argument – at the trial or appellate level – you should take the time to watch the arguments. And learn from them.
Here’s the schedule. You have four different opportunities to watch and learn.
I don’t know who is appearing, but I can tell you what to look for.
Here are four things you can pay attention to when watching the arguments. For fun, you may even want to count how many times an attorney doesn’t answer the question, or doesn’t listen to it, or reads from a speech. Every time I watch an argument before the 9th I am surprised at how frequently attorneys make these mistakes. Mistakes that can influence the court’s decision.
- Do the attorneys arguing listen to the questions before answering? If not, watch the judges to see their reaction.
- Are the attorneys reading from a speech, or speaking extemporaneously from an outline? Again, watch the judges to see how they respond to each style of presentation.
- Do the attorneys know their case fact and law inside and out? See what happens when they don’t.
- And the 64,000 dollar question, do the attorneys answer the question?
Now I admit it looks like you’ll have to go to one of the 9th Circuit’s courthouses to see the broadcast (I’ll be headed to the actual hearings in Pasadena), but I promise it will be worth your time.