Here are a few more tips from my interviews and conversations with judges, as well as from our programs:
Don’t just grab that brief that your (or someone else) wrote and filed months ago and skim it before going in to court. Study the facts and the cases like you’re going to be taking a test on them.
That way you can respond to questions about anything in the brief, not just what you thought was important.
- Create a one page cheat sheet with issue, case cite, holding and page in brief
This allows you to respond to questions quickly, competently and professionally without having to search for cases in your brief while your judge(s) wait for you.
- Practice, Practice, Practice
A summary judgement motion is just as important as trial. Practice your argument, have someone moot you, be prepared. A frequent complaint hear from judges is about attorneys who come in and wing it off their briefs.
And for a great short read about the other side of the coin, see "Five Oral Argument Tips – For Judges" on Howard Bashman’s How Appealing.law Blog by the Hon. Michael W. Mosman,U.S. District Judge, District of Oregon on how judges could behave better when hearing oral arguments.