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Tag: Oral Argument

October 18, 2023
CM/ECF Is Outdated So Get Ready for the 9th Circuit’s ACMS, with Susan Gelmis

Have you ever had trouble e-file something and had someone tell you to try a different web browser? When it comes to the CM/ECF system used by federal courts, that problem has to do with aging technology reliant on “java” plugins, which have security problems. Susan Gelmis, the Chief Deputy Clerk for Operations, explains why […]

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October 4, 2023
How to Prepare for Oral Argument

Have an appellate oral argument coming up? We discuss tips shared by top appellate attorneys how to prepare for and give oral arguments. Some tips include: 🗣️ Anticipate the panel’s questions when you can, but… 🗣️ …be prepared to respond when you don’t know the answer. 🗣️ Be prepared to answer: “What is your rule” […]

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June 20, 2023
Jennifer Novak on Representing the Environment in Court

As a former Deputy Attorney General with the California Department of Justice, Jennifer Novak now serves as a “Rosetta Stone” in her private practice translating complicated environmental rules to businesses and individuals in environmental disputes. Jennifer tells us her secrets how to convey complicated issues as a subject-matter specialist to generalists on the bench. Then […]

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June 6, 2023
Maxine Waters’ SLAPP, 5pm Filing Deadline, “Snitch Rule” & More Recent Legal News

Our regular roundup of noteworthy appellate decisions and legal news includes these stories: ⚠Did a Covid-era jury cut short its deliberations (to just one hour) because it wanted to get out of the cramped jury room? Plaintiff thought so, but did not make a record of having raised a timely objection. Held: Objection forfeited. ⚠Did […]

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May 30, 2023
Racking Up Appellate Argument Experience with Chris Schandevel

ADF attorney Chris Schandevel explains how he got the opportunity to orally argue dozens of cases in multiple appellate courts including state supreme courts in just a decade of practice. We also discuss: ‍⚖️Does oral argument make a different? Can amicus briefs make a difference? Yes, and one case proves it: Chris talk about Kligler […]

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May 5, 2023
Legal News & Tidbits: Gun ban ok, but not gas ban, and a worry about diversity on the bench

Courts upheld a gun ban but overturned a gas ban, and found yet another strange application of section 998 offers. Judges and clerks are more becoming more racially diverse, but come from a very short list of schools. And PJ Rubin talks about the best kind of oral argument. Cal. Ct. App. says California’s ban […]

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April 28, 2023
Use photos in your advocacy, but don’t overdo it

“Give your listener one thing to do at a time,” says appellate attorney Stefan Love. So you’ve got a great photo to flash on the screen, or a damning quote for your jurors to read, but at the same time your jurors are supposed to be studying the photo or quote, the attorney is also […]

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April 25, 2023
Should AI Replace Law Clerks? Yes, says Adam Unikowsky

Adam Unikowsky, an appellate litigator with nine appearance in the U.S. Supreme Court, argues that judicial law clerks could be replaced by AI. We discuss: “AI will make judges release more accurate decisions more quickly. This is good.” Judges already rely on clerk summaries, so if AI produces better summaries faster, that is good. AI […]

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April 18, 2023
Use ChatGPT to prepare for oral argument, with Prof. Jayne Woods

AI, they say, will revolutionize the practice of law. But can it do anything for my actual practice, as in, the case I am working on right now? Prof. Jayne Woods joins us to explain how she used ChatGPT—the question-and-answer AI interface—to draft a very passable first draft of an oral argument outline. Even better, […]

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April 11, 2023
Unlocking Your Case Theme at Oral Argument: Jeff Markowitz with a Minnesota Perspective on Appeals

You have just about 15-30 seconds at oral argument before the panel is likely to interrupt you. How will you use that time? Minnesota appellate attorney Jeff Markowitz says you should be unlocking that key point that allows the rest of your case to unfold. If you haven’t discovered that point by the time of […]

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“It will be of little avail to the people, that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; if they be repealed or revised before they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes that no man, who knows what the law is today, can guess what it will be tomorrow. Law is defined to be a rule of action; but how can that be a rule, which is little known, and less fixed?”

— James Madison, Federalist 62

"At common law, barratry was 'the offense of frequently exciting and stirring up suits and quarrels' (4 Blackstone, Commentaries 134) and was punished as a misdemeanor."

Rubin v. Green (1993) 4 Cal.4th 1187

Show neither partiality to the weak nor deference to the mighty, but judge your fellow men justly.

Leviticus

"God made the angels to show Him splendor, … Man He made to serve Him wittily, in the tangle of his mind."

— Sir Thomas More in Robert Bolt's A Man for All Seasons

"Moot points have to be settled somehow, once they get thrust upon us. If an assertion cannot be proved, then it must be settled some other way, and nearly all of these ways are unfair to somebody."

—T.H. White, The Once and Future King

"A judge is a law student who grades his own papers."

— H.L. Mencken

"Upon putting laws into writing, they became even harder to change than before, and a hundred legal fictions rose to reconcile them with reality."

— Will Durant

"Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws."

— Plato (427-347 B.C.)

"So far as the beginnings of law had theories, the first theory of liability was in terms of a duty to buy off the vengeance of him to whom an injury had been done whether by oneself or by something in one's power. The idea is put strikingly in the Anglo-Saxon legal proverb, 'Buy spear from side or bear it,' that is, buy off the feud or fight it out."

— Roscoe Pound, An Introduction to the Philosophy of Law

"Counsel on the firing line in an actual trial must be prepared for surprises, including requests for amendments of pleading. They cannot ask that a judgment afterwards obtained be set aside merely because their equilibrium was slightly disturbed by an unexpected motion."

Posz v. Burchell (1962) 209 Cal.App.2d 324, 334

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