Appellate News and Notes

What Kind of Appellate Lawyer Was Justice Roberts? The American Lawyer has an excellent article with that title. Here’s Roberts’s approach to oral arguments:

And then there were the infamous index cards. As he contemplated a case, Roberts  would write down all the possible questions he thought justices might fire at  him—dozens, if not hundreds. He’d organize them into four or five topics: A, B,  C, D, and maybe E. Then, he would shuffle them and fashion answers that would  make a smooth transition from, say, C to E to A. “You can’t guarantee the first  question you’re going to get is going to be on your first point. It may be your  third point,” he told Garner. “And it’s very awkward for somebody to say after  they answer the third point, ‘And now I’d like to go back to the point I was  making’. . .You kind of lose a little bit of traction.” Having thought-out  transitions at the ready, Roberts said, “makes the argument look fluid no matter  what questions you get.”

How To Write for Your Reader, a Circuit Court Judge. Raymond P. Ward has an interesting post about how Fifth Circuit judges are increasingly reading briefs on iPads, using a program that automatically turns all citations into hyperlinks. Ward says this will lead him to put his citations in the text, instead of in footnotes.

The Federal Rules at 75. The University of Pennsylvania Law Review is hosting a symposium on the Federal Rules at 75. It will be held November 15th and 16th.