Appellate Advocacy (Duncan)
M 4:30PM - 6:30PM
Silverman Hall 240A
This class will explore the nuts and bolts of appellate practice with a strong emphasis on advanced legal writing and introductory oral advocacy. We will start by covering basic principles of appellate strategy and briefing, followed by extensive focus on written advocacy. Using the same real-world case throughout the semester, each student will draft (1) a short law clerk-style summary memo about the selected case and (2) a final, graded appellate brief. I'll provide feedback and classroom discussion on both assignments, including a one-on-one conference before submission of the graded version of the brief. We will spend much of the second half of the semester focused on oral advocacy in the appellate setting. After an introductory lecture addressing oral argument strategy, tips and tricks, everyone will participate in several (ungraded) practice arguments in front of the class and/or remotely via Zoom. The class will conclude with graded oral arguments about the case on which the briefs have been written. I hope you will gain comfort and experience (and have a good time) arguing orally in an appellate setting. Attendance, preparation, and participation are obviously important. Class is limited to 12 students, with preference given to 2Ls.
Skills Learning outcomes: Demonstrate an understanding of the individual course skill; Demonstrate the ability to receive and implement feedback; Demonstrate an understanding of how and when the individual course skill is employed in practice.
Courts and the Judicial System Learning outcomes: Demonstrate a core understanding of both substantive and procedural issues in the operation of our legal system; Perform legal analysis in the context of procedural issues and the judicial process; Communicate effectively on topics related to procedure and the judicial process; Demonstrate an understanding of how procedural issues and the judicial process affect all other area of our legal system.
Professional Responsibility and Ethics Learning outcomes: Demonstrate an understanding of how the law affects, and is affected by, the individual course topic; Perform legal analysis in the context of the individual course topic; Communicate effectively on the legal and other aspects of the individual course topic; Demonstrate the ability to use other disciplines to analyze legal issues relevant to the individual course topic, including economics, philosophy, and sociology, as appropriate.
"Making Your Case: the Art of Persuading Judges " by Antonin Scalia and Bryan A. Garner