June 10, 2020 Feature

Cloaked Wisdom: Advice from Current and Former Federal Clerks

Shane Delsman

©2020. Published in Landslide, Vol. 12, No. 5, May/June 2020, by the American Bar Association. Reproduced with permission. All rights reserved. This information or any portion thereof may not be copied or disseminated in any form or by any means or stored in an electronic database or retrieval system without the express written consent of the American Bar Association or the copyright holder.

One of the first steps any good litigator takes when beginning a case assigned to an unfamiliar judge is to reach out to former clerks, local counsel, or colleagues to learn about the judge’s peculiarities, predispositions, or other prognostics. Sometimes the tips are substantive, for instance being prepared to discuss a damages demand at the scheduling conference. Other times they are more preferential, like using, or avoiding, a specific font type in your pleadings.

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