Presentation on theme: "James D. Ridgway. The views expressed here are my own. I am not here to talk about the CAVC or any of the judges of this Court."— Presentation transcript:
James D. Ridgway
The views expressed here are my own. I am not here to talk about the CAVC or any of the judges of this Court.
Complete Lack of Natural Talent Collegiate Public Speaker 50+ Arguments as an Appellate Prosecutor
Oral Argument is an Art, Not a Science.
The Goal of Oral Argument Finding Your Focus Engaging the Opposing Argument Preparing Your Presentation Working With the Judges at Argument Analyzing Your Performance Conclusion
To Have the Court’s Opinion Say Exactly What You Want Plan the Parenthetical
To Control the Conversation in Which the Decision is Made
Finding the Heart of Your Argument What Question Do You Fear? Reread the Opposing Brief! How Big is the Heart? 5 minutes 7 sentences
J OHN M AEDA, T HE L AWS OF S IMPLICITY (2006) “Simplicity is about subtracting the obvious and adding the meaningful.” Sub-points Same Rules Apply Roman Numeral Outline Plan
What Is the Story of Your Argument? What Happened? What Should Have Happened? What Happens When You Change the Facts? Do You Have a Good Analogy?
What Is the Nature of the Legal Argument? Is this About Interpreting the General Rule? Is this About an Exception? Is this About the Interaction of Multiple Authorities? Are they Exclusive or Overlapping?
“Same”/ “Different” Quotations
Your notes are just to jog your memory. You will have far, far more information than you will ever get to in your argument. You need to have key information pop out at you.
Apples v. Oranges “Appellant/Appellee would be correct IF... ” What is your key authority? What is theirs? Identifying Weaknesses A NTHONY W ESTON, A R ULEBOOK FOR A RGUMENTS (3d ed. 2000).
Setting Up Questions “Appellant/Appellee cannot cite a page in the record where...” “Appellant/Appellee cannot cite a case in which the Court held X without fact Y.” “Not one case relied upon by the Appellant/ Appellee involves fact Z, which is true in this case.”
Practice Out Loud Imprint Your Argument Practice Cadence, Too Arguing With Sound Bites Avoid Adjectives “Canning” Common Issues Moving Around Your Argument Cut Up Your Outline
Answer Questions Return to Your Focus First, Last, Most Often Making Concessions Watching the Bench Pencils Facial Expressions Do Not Attack Opposing Counsel ... Directly
Reviewing Your Argument Reading the Opinion Rereading Your Brief
“If the Audience Did Not Understand You, Then You Failed to Communicate.”
Persuasion is About Influencing the Conversation in Which the Decision is Made. Oral Argument is About Setting Forth and Defending Your Core Theory. Engaging the Opposing Argument is Critically Important. Craft and Rehearse as Many Phrases as Possible Beforehand. At Argument, Let the Judges Go Where They Want to Go, and Then Bring Them Back. Take Opinions as Feedback.