Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Good example of a bad argument

Today in class we listened to a quintessentially bad oral argument. The argument in U.S. v. Johnson has been mentioned on this blog before, but it's worth another mention for newer professors. The short real-life argument before the Seventh Circuit provides some comic relief (it's so bad!) while illustrating serious points about oral argument. Among his other missteps, defense lawyer Scacchetti made an argument that had recently been rejected by the U.S. Supreme Court in Illinois v. Caballes. The Assistant U.S. Attorney's argument that follows is also a good illustration--of knowing when to sit down. Scacchetti, by the way, was later disciplined by the Ohio Supreme Court for a different offense. The opinion in U.S. v. Johnson can be found at 123 Fed. Appx. 240 (2005).


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