Law Religion Culture Review

Exploring the intersections of law, religion and culture. Copyright by Richard J. Radcliffe. All rights reserved.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Comedy at the Courthouse, Part III.

Before my oral argument in front of the Second District, I met my counterpart--an appellate specialist with about 30 years experience. He predicted his opening argument would be shorter than his 20 minute estimate because "there were no new cases decided," and the briefs contained all of the relevant points.

Mustering my best poker-face, I just nodded. I hope I didn't smirk when I nodded because I knew that he had missed a crucial, brand-new opinion handed down by the California Supreme Court just about a week earlier. Not only did this new decision pertain to one of the core issues in our appeal, but it also had the distinction of affirming the Second District--the very court we were in front of.

Since my counterpart lost the trial, and hence, was the appellant, he had to go first. As expected, he did not mention the new case. When it was my turn, I got to show off a bit by not only scooping opposing counsel, but also informing the panel about their distinction of being affirmed by the State's highest court. They seemed most gratified.

So, this was a two-fer. It pays to be prepared.