February 06, 2012 Articles

Ten Tips from the Bench: Motion Practice Oral Argument

Here are ten tips for effective oral advocacy of contested motions, including a suggestion on how to request that opportunity where judges normally do not conduct oral argument on a regular basis.

By Hon. Marvin E. Aspen

Oral argument of contested dispositive motions, such as motions to dismiss or for summary judgment, has become a rare opportunity for advocates because federal district judges must ration a finite amount of court time to manage a busy docket. As a result, oral argument is in danger of becoming a lost art. I offer 10 tips for effective oral advocacy of contested motions, including a suggestion on how to request that opportunity where judges normally do not conduct oral argument on a regular basis.

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