Ask any appeals lawyer in Florida about the most critical part of the appeals process. They’ll say preparing the brief and presenting the oral arguments are both critical. Oral arguments are the appellee’s last chance to present brief arguments in-person to the appellate court. While presenting oral arguments, the lawyer will explain the points in their brief, let the appellate court know the merits of the arguments, and answer any questions the judges may have.
Contrary to popular belief, oral arguments are not just a rehash of what’s explained in the brief. Oral arguments highlight the critical issues of the case by presenting the most essential elements of the brief.
The Timeline Of Oral Arguments
In most cases, an appellate lawyer will have about ten minutes to present their oral arguments before the judges. However, if the appeal is being heard in a US Court of Appeals, a lawyer will have up to 30 minutes to present their arguments.
Deciding To Go Ahead With The Oral Arguments
It’s not compulsory for appeals attorneys in Orlando, Florida, to present an oral argument in court. A client can instruct their lawyer to “waive” the oral argument if they want to. But most appellees exercise their right to present oral arguments in court.
Once the legal team has filed all the briefs, the court will send the appellee a notice letting them know when the oral arguments will be held. There are three ways to respond when this notice is received:
- The appellee forfeits their right to present oral arguments.
- The appellee wants their lawyer to present oral arguments. (In this case, the court has to be formally notified in writing.)
- If the appellee does not respond, the court assumes they’re waiving their right to present oral arguments.
What Happens During The Oral Arguments In An Appellate Court?
When a lawyer presents their oral arguments, it’s customary for them to begin with: “May it please the court.” However, an appellee doesn’t need a lawyer to file an appeal. But if you do not have an appeals lawyers in Fort Lauderdale, Florida representing you, the judges must be informed that you’ll be representing yourself.
Keep in mind that the judges will be familiar with the case and the brief. This is why the lawyer won’t just repeat what’s there. Instead, they’ll highlight the key parts of the brief. The lawyer will also answer questions that the judges ask. The judges may interrupt the lawyer when they’re presenting the arguments, and they may routinely ask about the authority of sources cited.
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The lawyer must stay calm, and at some points they must let the judges lead the discussion. Staying calm and respectful goes a long way in the eyes of many appellate judges. When an appellate lawyer is asked something, they must be direct when giving an answer. If they don’t know the answer to a question, they’ll tell the judges they don’t know; there’s no shame here. Also, an appellate lawyer will make sure to avoid any arguments that weren’t discussed in the brief.
As you can see, it’s necessary to hire an appeals lawyer in Florida, as they’ll know how to prepare oral arguments and present them effectively. Most individuals who present oral arguments without legal expertise miss important details, and a bad presentation may be the sole factor which gets an appeal rejected.
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