Chief Justice John Roberts’ advice: Oral Argument Without the Proverbial Foot in the Mouth

Earlier this month, Chief Justice John Roberts had some sage advice for aspiring appellate attorneys–nay, for all attorneys. Be humble, admit you might be wrong, and challenge yourself in front of the court. If you’re saying that your client is “clearly right,” then likely oral argument wouldn’t have been granted in the first place. It’s a good read:

“You don’t see it very often and it can obviously be risky, but for somebody to get up and say, ‘The biggest argument against us is’ whatever, ‘this precedent that you decided six years ago, and if you were going to follow it down the line, my client should probably lose. Here’s why I think you shouldn’t follow it in this case.’ ” He added: “I think that type of an approach could be very effective.”

Chief Justice Counsels Humility –


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