FRESH PERSPECTIVES: NUTS AND BOLTS OF PREPARING YOUR BEST ORAL ARGUMENT
FRESH PERSPECTIVES: NUTS AND BOLTS OF PREPARING YOUR BEST ORAL ARGUMENT1
By Janine Braxton
Janine Braxton is a partner at Martenson Hasbrouck & Simon who represents employers in state and federal courts with an emphasis on complex wage and hour representative PAGA and class actions. Janine also focuses on litigating individual discrimination and harassment claims and is a liaison to the California Lawyers Association’s Labor and Employment Executive Committee. Janine can be reached by email at email@example.com.
Oral arguments are an opportunity to persuade the court. They are the last opportunity a party has to convince the court before an order is issued. If you are fortunate, you were involved in the briefing and the court issued a tentative ruling. It is best if the tentative is in your favor. Even if there is no tentative or you were not involved in the briefing, there are steps you can take to make a compelling argument. Many years ago, as a new lawyer, I was not sure what to expect heading into oral arguments or how exactly to prepare. While the facts, arguments and issues are different for each case, I learned there are fundamental elements of preparation common to all great oral advocacy. Like many aspects of litigation, the more often oral arguments one makes, the better one becomes. Below are some quick tips that I learned and have found very helpful.