Oral Argument Notes to Self

September 6, 2011

I didn’t do a large part of the argument on demurrer hearing today, but I observed two much more seasoned trial lawyers (and yes, did a short argument of my own).  Given that I feel like I have a ton to learn about litigation, I’m trying to take notes on these things.  Here’s what I noted today:

1) DON’T MUMBLE.

2) DON’T SAY UM.  (Each of the above violations was a different lawyer.)

3) Keep it organized in bullet points.  The lawyer prosecuting the motion did this well.

4) Start with “This case stems from Plaintiff’s failure to make his mortgage payments and subsequent foreclosure of his home”.  This is true of most of my cases and it’s a good note to start on.

5) However, end on this as well.  Said lawyer didn’t get back to it and I’d have made it my main theme running throughout.

6) LABEL the bullet points.  Use catch phrases, don’t vary terminology.  Start and end with them.  “Economic loss rule applies here, which is… a relevant example/case is… which applies because… and therefore, the economic loss rule means this claim cannot stand”.

7) Say nice things about the other lawyer.  One of the lawyers today does that well and it makes him look very good.

8) If I don’t have a good point to make or a good argument (I hope I don’t get in this position), THEN mumble, deflect, jump around in points, and cite irrelevant information.  One of the lawyers (the one I think had the MUCH weaker argument) did this very well.

9) In my own argument, I was saying it was burdensome to keep my client in the case when no damages were claimed against us.  Note to my firm- for the next 2.5 months, if we want to make that argument, I am a GREAT one to make it.  Just moving around is starting to be a burden for me.  It’s like a visual demonstration!

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