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Tips on Oral Advocacy A Primer to Oral Argument For those yet unfamiliar with the in's and out's of moot court oral argument, the following should serve as a guide. Competitors may be seated after the judges sit down.
When the judges indicate that they are ready, the student should rise and approach the podium or lectern.
Theme Competitors should always begin an argument with a clear and persuasive statement explaining the essence of the case. This statement should be confident, succinct, and, to the extent possible, slanted in favor of the competitor's version of the case.
For example, in a case where United States Armed Forces used a drone to attack individuals in a country with which the United States is not at war, counsel for the government might state the case in the following way: The body of your argument should expand below the reasons you list in your roadmap.
The roadmap gives judges an overarching picture of the more nuanced argument that will follow. Memorize your opening and your roadmap.
The most successful oral advocates memorize their opening roadmap and maintain eye contact with the judges throughout. This is the best way to make a good first impression of confidence and preparedness.
Order of Argument Begin the body of your argument by discussing the first issue in your roadmap. Make your argument, and then proceed directly to your second issue. There is no need to pause or to solicit questions. The judges will interrupt you with questions as they wish. Answer their questions directly and use your roadmap and outline to find an appropriate place at which to continue arguing.
Conclusion When you have finished your argument, end with a clear statement of what you are asking the Court to do a "prayer for relief".
Do not bring pens, pencils, or loose watches with you to the podium. Limit shifting around and excessive hand gestures while at the podium. Many competitors keep their hands on each side of the podium to prevent this.
Approach your oral argument as a conversation with, not a lecture to, the judges. Engage in an exchange of ideas with the judges and respond to their concerns. Don't read a speech to them. Do not tell a judge that you will answer that particular question later in your argument.
Go where the judge leads you, even if that means not following the argument that you planned. Don't let this aspect of moot court competition frustrate or distract you. Part of the challenge is adapting to and taking into consideration the judges' concerns, while finding the time and opportunity to still voice the important parts of your argument.
It is fully acceptable to ask for clarification and almost always preferable to answering a question the judge did not really ask. If a judge asks a "yes" or "no" question, answer first with "yes" or "no" -- then elaborate.
For example, reply with, "Yes, Your Honor, in fact At the end of your presentation, the judges or bailiff if one is present will show you a "STOP" card. Once you see the "STOP" card, immediately stop speaking. Do not make new arguments.A Primer to Oral Argument.
For those yet unfamiliar with the in's and out's of moot court oral argument, the following should serve as a guide. For further guidance, consult a member of the Moot Court Board and/or view a video recording of past Hardt Cup or Dean's Cup finals.
Students compete in moot court competitions to develop skills in appellate brief writing and oral argument, and gain valuable trial practice experience. The Dean's Fund and endowments provide financial assistance to support student participation in these competitions. Oral Argument As a moot court participant, you are required to participate in an oral argument.
In actual practice, courts are generally quite David M. Gersten, Effective Brief Writing and Oral Argument: Gaining the Inside Track, 81 Fla. B.J. 26 (Apr. ). moot court brief and conducting a moot court oral argument, teach students to think like lawyers, a skill fundamental to practicing law and a necessary attribute to the good administration of justice.
In moot court, students prepare legal research, write briefs, and complete oral arguments in front of a panel of judges. It is a great way for Marquette University Law School students to experience what appellate practice is like, as well as an opportunity for them to develop and sharpen research, writing, and oral advocacy skills.
EDWARD W. HINTON MOOT COURT COMPETITION Tips for Successful Oral Advocacy 4 DURING THE ARGUMENT (CONT.) Be direct in your answers, but take time and get the answers correct. Pause to consider a question before answering, if necessary.