Opening an Oral Argument before the Supreme Court: The Decline of Narrative's RoleThe Review of Litigation, The Brief (University of Texas) (2015)
In contrast to an earlier era, today’s oral advocate can expect Supreme Court justices to start asking questions earlier and often. Consequently, the advocate should expect to launch the argument with only a few sentences before the questions begin. These critical sentences offer the brief opportunity to introduce the theme of the subsequent argument. Advocates in other “hot bench” courts face the same challenge.
Our study of opening statements in Supreme Court oral arguments finds that the statements have one of three themes: a conventional legal argument, a policy argument, or a narrative argument. The conventional legal argument is the most common, followed by the policy argument, followed by the narrative argument.
The dearth of narrative arguments—even as supplementary arguments—can have adverse consequences for the advocate seeking to be persuasive and the Court seeking to decide the case properly.
- Supreme Court,
- oral argument,
Citation InformationLouis J. Sirico. "Opening an Oral Argument before the Supreme Court: The Decline of Narrative's Role" The Review of Litigation, The Brief (University of Texas) (2015)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/louis_sirico/69/