Why You Should Argue Your Appeal

Law360, New York (July 10, 2017, 1:02 PM EDT) -- Conventional wisdom — and more than one judge — says that oral argument is a mere formality; that in courts where judges read briefs in advance, their minds are made up and will rarely — if ever — change. In fact, one writer claims that “[m]ost lawyers can count on the fingers of one hand the number of times oral argument actually seemed to make a difference.”[1] So, does oral argument really matter? Is it worth the time, effort, and inevitable gut-wrenching discomfort to stand before a panel of judges, answering rapid-fire questions? In a word, yes. Here’s why.

First, conventional...

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