J. Edgar Murdock American Inn of Court

January 14, 2014



Oral Argument Presentation




I used to say, as Solicitor General, I made three arguments in every case.  First came the one that I planned-as I thought logical, coherent, complete. Second was the one actually presented-interrupted, incoherent, disjointed, disappointing.  The third was the utterly devastating argument that I thought of after going to bed that night.


Resolutions In Memoriam: Mr. Justice Jackson, 99 L.Ed. 1311, 1318 (1955).



These scripts are excerpts from oral arguments in two recent tax cases heard by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.  The scripts were used to illustrate the opportunities and challenges oral argument presents for the litigator; they include discussion points raised with the attendees, who described their own views and experiences with oral argument.