The three-judge panel of the Second Circuit heard approximately two-and-a-half hours of vigorous oral argument in NML v Argentina yesterday. While no decision was announced, the judges gave strong suggestions as to their current views on many issues (all of which can, of course, change by the time the decision is finally issued).
The Scene -
This case clearly has generated massive interest, and the audience for the oral argument filled the courtroom, plus two large overflow rooms. (A courthouse security guard commented that the only other case he had seen that generated this much interest was the Martha Stewart trial.) The three-judge bench was “hot,” deeply familiar with the record and the arguments of all the parties and amici. Further, the court allowed counsel to go way beyond their allotted time, which is unusual in the Second Circuit.
Those arguing were Jonathan Blackman for Argentina, David Boies for the Exchange Bondholders, James Martin for Bank of New York Mellon (“BNY Mellon”), and Ted Olson for the plaintiffs.
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