I recently had two oral arguments set on the same day in the Tennessee Court of Appeals, which was a fairly stressful experience. But, by the time the second docket came around, I had a really good idea of where to go, where to sit, how the dockets would start, who would say what, and all the little details.
Honestly, I was a little irritated at myself for not attending an oral argument docket a few months before, just for the experience and insight.
So, here’s my advice to you: If you’ve got a appeal pending and haven’t attended a docket lately, try to get to one. I think it’ll help you shape your oral presentation, and it may even help you streamline your appellate briefs. Even if you don’t have an appeal pending, I think watching the appellate process play out will make you a better trial lawyer.
They have the dockets all over the state. The Tennessee Court of Appeals oral argument schedule can be found here, on the Administrative Office of the Courts website.
We’ve got a few summer clerks, and I’m telling them to take advantage of our close proximity to the courthouse. And, if they don’t take me up on the offer, I’ll be skeptical. I mean, who doesn’t love a field trip?