• Oral Advocacy,  Oral Argument

    Does It Make a Difference to Have Your Client Present at Oral Argument?

    Every glimpse into the collective minds of appellate justices usually helps, especially with regard to oral argument, but Donna Bader provides an interesting insight at Appeal to Reason that I’m not sure what to do with. Her observation: Once I questioned some justices about whether they look around the courtroom during oral argument to figure out who the parties [are]. If the attorney sits next to the clients, the answer is obvious. Sometimes, clients sit in the back, leaving the attorney alone to prepare for oral argument. Surprisingly, the justices admitted they had a certain curiosity as to who the participants were. More than that, there was also a curiosity…

  • Appeals,  Appellate Procedure,  Judges,  Oral Argument

    Peremptory Challenges to Appellate Justices and Posting of Draft Appellate Opinions

    Don’t get too excited!  The title of this post does not reflect changes to the Code of Civil Procedure.  Instead, the title summarizes two of Nine Ideas for Improving the Administration of Justice offered by Los Angeles attorney Edwin B. Stegman in his guest column in the September 2007 California Bar Journal.  Specifically, Stegman suggests the following: 3.  We desperately need a CCP §170.6-type peremptory challenge of incompetent and unreasonable appellate justices and divisions. *** 7. Before oral argument, attorneys should be permitted to review research attorneys’ notes and appellate draft opinions. There is no advantage to secrecy. In some courts, research attorneys make the decisions. Sometimes they make mistakes.…

  • Ethics,  Oral Argument

    Making the Record with Anger Draws Discipline

    The Legal Profession Blog brings us an example of disrespect for the court that is crystal clear, unlike the “french fry” comment that caught so many people’s attention at the end of May and again last month.  At the hearing on a continuance motion, a criminal defense lawyer, who had signed his papers “Indignantly submitted,” insisted that he would “jam these pleadings down the throat of the record as much as I feel I need to.”  Not the recommended approach, to say the least.  Check out the post at Legal Profession Blog for the consequences of this conduct.