Monday, November 19, 2012
Justice Antonin Scalia recently offered some suggestions for appellate advocacy at the Appellate Judges Education Institute in New Orleans. "Be brief" was his first suggestion. His second was to be "unfailingly accurate." He explained, "I'm listening to you because you're an expert--so you must know the law and the facts." Inaccurate statements taint the whole of the lawyer's presentation and even future presentations to the Court. He also urged lawyers to "use the English language" and to avoid cliches. Opposing arguments, he dryly observed, are always "fatally flawed," never just "wounded."
I was at the conference to speak about writing issue statements.