Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Arguing Another Attorney's Appeal

Last month I reported that I had again orally argued an appeal in which I did not draft the briefs. In a serious personal injury matter, the defendant appealed the denial of summary judgment by Supreme Court, New York County.

Plaintiff's counsel asked me to appear for oral argument before the Appellate Division, First Department. I did so, and I am pleased to report that in Tomaino v. 209 East 84th Street Corp. the Appellate Division affirmed the denial of summary judgment. The opinion can be found here.

While there are those who may disagree, I continue to believe that oral argument is important. It is the only opportunity counsel has to answer questions judges may have after reading the briefs and the record. After reading the briefs judges go on the bench inclined to decide a case a particular way. Different appellate judges have told me that oral argument has changed their minds 5% to 15% of the time. This is not an opportunity to pass up.

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