Ten years into law practice, I open my mouth for a living. Be it in court or in a meeting, we do have to be talkative, really and dispense advise (and wit) at a drop of a hat. Of course, I also have to get my fingers busy in churning out pleadings and documents. It's part of the package. But let's not talk about that now.
I have a few cases in the appellate courts (that is, the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals), but all of them are fought (won or lost) on pleadings. Oral arguments in those places are optional, and rare.
I once came this close to my first oral argument. I was chief legal of a very large government corporation and we had this huge case for a preliminary injunction to halt another party from collecting a huge sum of money from up. I helped in the argumentation and research. But unfortunately, it was our lawyers, the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel, who would argue for us before a three-panel division of the Court of Appeals.
To tell you the truth, I was more impressed with the counsel of the opposing party. He was more articulate and more eloquent– a seasoned veteran and a former constitutional convention member. Our side was tense and tentative (although we were actually represented by the son of a famous Supreme Court Chief Justice, his partner then was less than lackluster).
But I believed in our cause more. Because we were right and it was wrong for them to get that money. And we won.
With my mom and pop law practice, I may never see the day when I argue before the Supremes or even the Justices of the Court of Appeals. But who knows?I hope I do come prepared. They say those things go on for hours without a meal or bathroom break.
But honestly, though, I'll be more interested when Proclamation No. 1017 goes up for oral arguments.