Oral Appellate Advocacy

SLN #: 27000
Course Prefix: LAW-691
Course Section: 023
Credit Hours: 1
Instructor(s): Hurwitz;Stuart

Course Description:
NOTE: This course will meet for eight (8) weeks beginning Tuesday, January 18, and ending on Tuesday, March 8.

This is an eight-class skills course. It is not a course on appellate law or procedure, and will not include writing or researching appellate briefs. We will focus on the techniques and dynamics of appellate advocacy, with special emphasis on oral argument. Oral argument gives judges a convenient and efficient way to increase their understanding—and eliminate misunderstanding—of facts, procedural history, issues and law. But for appellate lawyers, the core function of oral argument is to make the court want to decide in your favor. We hope to help you sum up the issues by making your best points as forcefully as possible and dealing with your weakest point by reducing it to non-dispositive status. And we will do our best to convince you that the term “oral argument” is inapt. It is usually not an argument, but rather a vigorous conversation with the judges in your case. Much has been said and written about “arguing” at the appellate level. Our combined experience at the trial and appellate levels suggests something not often emphasized in textbooks or “how to” manuals. Oral argument is best thought of as the time when the judges are in effect opening their post-argument conference. It is also the time when the lawyers get a rare opportunity to participate in that conference by guiding and advancing the discussion.

Additional Information:
Credit Hours: 1
Grading Option: Pass/Fail Only
Written Assignment: Yes
Graduation Writing Requirement: No
Flexible Writing Requirement: No
Skills Requirement: Yes
Experiential Learning: No
Limited Enrollment Number: 12
Final Exam Given: No
Paper or In-Class Presentation: Yes
Participation Points: Yes
Attendance Policy: Per Statement of Student Policies
Additional Attendance Policy: Yes

* The law school has a policy that is used to calculate credit hours. Please see the Statement of Student Policies.