Oral Arguments or Theatrical Performances?


There are things in life that people just don't like to mess with, like the human vermiform appendix, for example. It performs no significant physiological function, and is said to be a vestigial organ that has lost its original function. Still, no one wants to undergo an appendectomy just to get rid of it. It's sort of like that with oral argument in the appellate courts these days. Maybe in the past, when courts were "cold" when judges did not read the briefs before taking the bench, oral advocacy may have been decisive. Now, with "hot" judges, who have read the briefs and are prepped by clerk-written pre-argument bench memos, it's another story.

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