Sunday, March 27, 2016

New App for Timing Oral Arguments

Mike Oeser has developed the “Argument Timer” App for timing oral arguments. We have not tried it out, but here is Mike’s sales pitch.


Argument Timer is specially designed to help law students and appellate lawyers practice oral argument more effectively.

First, Argument Timer accurately mimics the time remaining warnings given by appellate courts. The more the practice environment mirrors the performance environment, the more effective practice becomes. Multiple timers can be saved, each customized to a particular argument. Argument length, number of time remaining warnings, and type of warning (numeric, color, or audible) can all be set to mimic the competition or court environment.

Second, Argument Timer keeps practice judges focused on the most important aspects of practice--questions and critique. Practice judges often do double duty as a judge and a timekeeper. This splits their attention, usually to the determent of the substance of the questions asked, the accuracy of the timekeeping, or both. Argument Timer’s “set it and forget it” design allows practice judges to focus on substance and critique, making practice more effective.

Third, Argument Timer makes it easier to hold practices, meaning advocates can practice more often. The biggest challenge in practicing an oral argument is getting enough people together. Argument Timer eliminates the need for one person to keep time. Again, its “set it and forget it” design makes this possible. Fewer people needed to hold a practice means more practice time. More practice time means better performance.

And of course, all these advantages also apply when using Argument Timer during actual competition, or even real appellate argument.

You can buy Argument Timer at

If you have questions about how to use Argument Timer, or just want to know more, please visit


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