December 17, 2020 Articles

Five Tips for Oral Argument

Use your oral argument time wisely and be a good advocate.

By Shaunta Knibb
Oral argument is an important aspect of an appeal.

Oral argument is an important aspect of an appeal.

Oral argument is an important aspect of an appeal. It is your opportunity to educate a panel of three judges about the key issues on appeal and to answer any questions or doubts that the judges may have. Here are five tips for an effective oral argument.

Tip No. 1: Do Not Waive Rebuttal Time in Advance

Although you may think you know your opponent’s arguments and plan to address them in your presentation, a judge may ask a question that you can address favorably for your client. Use rebuttal time to do this. You can also use rebuttal to address any misstatements by counsel or the court.

However, be professional and courteous to the court and the opposing counsel. If you disagree with a statement of counsel, be respectful in your manner of correction, and then move on. 

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