I am writing to share with you my experience as a panel judge for the Institute, when I served with former Third Circuit Judge Arlin Adams in a mock oral argument for a commercial case scheduled to be heard by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.
At the defendant/company’s request, the practice session was held at the Duquesne Law School in Pittsburgh. In addition to the attorneys who were scheduled to argue the appeal, the mock oral argument was attended by in-house counsel and executives of the defendant/company. The Institute arranged for appellate counsel to gave both a timed and untimed oral argument, and for Judge Adams and me not only to conduct a critique of the arguments but also to engage in an open discussion with appellate counsel and company officials about the issues and the strength of the arguments.
The logistics for the proceedings were handled superbly. The Institute’s arrangements in terms of accommodating the personnel, and the timing and location of the proceedings, were flawless. The briefs and record materials were delivered to me well before the day of the practice argument, as I had requested, and Institute personnel were on hand during the afternoon to guide and manage the arrangements. No detail was left to chance.
I have participated as a jurist in numerous practice and real oral arguments during my tenure as a Justice and Chief Justice of the Florida Supreme Court, and as an appellate advocate following my departure from the bench. The practice argument in which I participated with Judge Adams ranks high in my appellate experience in terms of the professionalism provided by Institute personnel.
--The Honorable Arthur J. England, Jr., Former Chief Justice of the Florida Supreme Court
If you have a bet-the-company case on appeal, I would recommend the Segal Institute. They provide professional moot court services for briefing and oral argument. They use experienced judges---retired appellate judges or seasoned appellate practitioners---who will help identify the strengths and weaknesses in your case. Not every case justifies the expense. But if the outcome of your appeal could affect your client’s bottom line or will set precedent important to your client’s businees, it is money well spent.
-- Scott Burnett Smith, Appellate Litigation Group, Bradley Arant Rose & White LLP