Here’s our second contest of the day related to bad legal skills. Well, not a contest really, since there doesn’t appear to be a plan to announce a winner or award prizes.
Prawfsblawg is soliciting examples of “the weakest legal argument you’ve ever heard.” Add your contribution to the comments at this post at Prawfsblawg. As of this posting, there were 56 comments already.
Appellate practice offers a whole new area of bad argument: the argument that was proper at trial but has no place at all in the court of appeal even if legally correct. Using emotion-laden arguments, arguing credibility and relative weight of the evidence are some examples.
I haven’t seen it much, but a couple of justices have told me that an unbelievable number of attorneys attempt to re-try their cases in the court of appeal rather than argue the applicable standard of review. What might have been a great, compelling argument in the trial court may be entirely inappropriate in the Court of Appeal. But that doesn’t stop lawyers inexperienced in appeals from making them.
UPDATE (8/15/07): Oh, yeah. Thanks to Appellate Law & Practice for the link.