Oral Arguments Guide for Counsel - page 6

On argument days, no interviews may be conducted and news cameras are not permitted in
the Court building; however, interviews may take place and cameras are allowed in the front of the
building, where reporters may wait to talk to counsel after argument has concluded.
Audio transcripts of oral arguments will be posted on the Court's Website,
within one business day of the argument. To obtain a copy of the argument
on CD, contact the Clerk's Office at 202-501-5980.
After you have met with and been briefed by the Clerk, the Clerk is available to escort you
to the Courtroom. You should advise the Courtroom officials if you are scheduled to move the
admission of an attorney.
Two seats are available at each counsel table in the Courtroom, one for the arguing counsel
and second to accommodate a co-counsel, if any. Generally, only one co-counsel per each arguing
counsel will be seated at the table.
It is appropriate for co-counsel to occupy the arguing counsel's chair when the latter is
presenting argument. Except in extraordinarycircumstances, co-counsel do not pass notes to arguing
counsel during argument.
Arguing counsel and their co-counsel should be settled in the Courtroom and seated in their
assigned seats at the counsel tables about 5 minutes before Court is scheduled to open. The Clerk
of the Court cries the Court in at 10:00 a.m. The Presiding Judge makes routine announcements.
Any motions for admission to the bar will occur next. The Presiding Judge will then announce that
the Court will hear the scheduled argument. Counsel will be asked to identify themselves to the
Court, and counsel should stand when doing so. Appellant's counsel will then be asked if they are
ready, if they wish to reserve time for rebuttal, and asked to proceed. You may acknowledge the
usual: "Judge [Name of Presiding Judge], and may it please the Court." "Chief Judge" is used only
in addressing the Chief Judge, who, you should note, may not always be part of the panel. Judges
are referred to as "Judge Kasold" or "Judge Schoelen," for instance, or, "Your Honor." If you are
in doubt about the name of a Judge who is addressing you, look to the Judge's nameplate.
Remember, it is better to use "Your Honor" than to address one Judge by another's name.
Demonstrating the principles recommended below, the attorneys in
Ramsey v. Nicholson
, 20
Vet.App. 16 (2006) (argued Sept. 22, 2005), provide an example of excellence in oral argument. The
attorneys offer a commanding knowledge of the facts and law at issue; they articulate issues clearly
and concisely; and they answer Judges' questions promptly, directly, and incisively. Oral argument
1,2,3,4,5 7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15
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