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Seminar Topical Research Guides

Law Reviews and Journals

How to Prep Like a Pro for Your First Oral Argument in Federal Court (Karen L. Stevenson, Litigation News, 2018)
Judge Stevenson emphasizes the need for thorough knowledge of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, familiarity with the judge and your opponent, simplicity of any visual aids, and clear, forthright communication.

Understanding Differences Between Trial, Appellate Oral Arguments (Kelly A. Moore, New York Law Journal, 2013)
Analyzing the differences between oral argument at the trial court and appellate levels and how attorneys can optimize their effectiveness in the respective settings.

News and Blogs

Appellate Advocacy Blog
This blog includes discussions of the teaching of legal advocacy as well as tips on persuasive presentation of briefs and oral arguments.

How Appealing: Above the Law
This resource from a blog devoted to the legal profession and law school compiles news and commentary on appellate decisions, advocates, and their legal ramifications. 

Oral Argument: Why I Advise Advocates to Practice Without Notes
From the Law Professor Blogs Network: Memory retrieval practice can help deepen learning for a smooth, conversational oral argument performance free of extensive notes.

Texts and Treatises

Advanced Appellate Advocacy (Susan E. Provenzano et. al, 2016)
This textbook delves into sophisticated advocacy strategies and may be used as a guide to new attorneys in appellate practice, with graphics and reflection questions to engage readers.

The Art of Oral Advocacy (David C. Frederick, 2003)
Discusses the fine details of persuasion, including handling judges' questions and developing attributes of the most effective orators and advocates.

Briefing and Arguing Federal Appeals (Frederick Bernays Wiener, 1961)
In its sections on oral argument, this resource suggests limiting intense questioning of precedent cases in oral argument, preparing extensively to avoid making inadvertent, permanent, damaging concessions, and refraining from discussing personalities and engaging in sarcasm. It also features an informative critique of a U.S. Supreme Court oral argument, highlighting pitfalls to be avoided.

Effective Appellate Advocacy: Brief Writing and Oral Argument (Carole C. Berry, 2014)
Offers a guide to appellate advocacy as well as exercises in persuasive brief and oral argument presentation.

Legal Method and Writing II: Trial and Appellate Advocacy, Contracts, and Correspondence (Charles Calleros & Kiberly Holst, 2018)
This introductory textbook by ASU Law professors introduces the concepts of persuasive writing and provides tips to maximize impact.

The Little Book on Oral Argument (Alan L. Dworsky, 2018)
This slim, user-friendly book helps you channel your nervous energy to speak conversationally but professionally, minimizing all distracting verbal filler (such as "like" or "um"). It provides tips on looking and sounding confident and professional. It also tells you what to expect in each step of the process, from the initial nervous tension of “May it please the court” to your strong conclusion. And it helps keep you on guard when the judges pepper you with questions.

Making Your Case: The Art of Persuading Judges (Antonin Scalia & Bryan A. Garner, 2008)
The late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and legal writing expert Bryan Garner provide tips on effective advocacy, such as how to differentiate your strongest points from the weak arguments that you should very visibly concede. Although good appellate practice involves appearing before the court without a script, strong oral advocacy involves intensive writing and revising. They also provide tips on appearing poised and strong to the tribunal and detailed advice on optimizing the substance of your argument, such as dealing with a barrage of questions with poise and avoiding unnecessary concessions.

A Practitioners' Guide to Effective Appellate Advocacy (Anne Marie Lofaso, 2010)
This resource offers a guide to professionalism in advocacy, settlement of cases on appeal, briefs, oral arguments, and post-argument and post-decision filings.

Supreme Court and Appellate Advocacy (David C. Frederick, 2010)
Includes tips on fashioning each part of an oral argument to maximize persuasiveness, including catering to individuals' different learning styles.

Oral Argument Recordings

Supreme Court of the United States arguments
Features audio of typically question-intensive Supreme Court oral arguments, including all of the appearances by ASU Law Professor Paul Bender. All of his arguments are compiled on Oyez.

9th Circuit Court of Appeals arguments
Features arguments on a wide range of topics in the federal appeals court whose territory includes Arizona.

Arizona Court of Appeals arguments
Discusses the guidelines for attorneys to structure their oral arguments along with providing links to video of current and archived oral arguments.

SCOTUStalk (podcast)
Many episodes feature advocates reflecting on their arguments before the United States Supreme Court, discussing how they developed and delivered their presentations.