I was reading the court’s “Guide for Counsel in Cases to be Argued Before the Supreme Court of the United States” and I noticed a reference to a very recent case:

For an excellent example of a counsel who was intimately familiar with her client’s business, see the transcript of argument in United States v. Flores-Montano, 541 U. S. 149 (2004). The case dealt with the searching of vehicle gas tanks by customs agents at an international border. Government counsel had a total grasp of why and how the agents conducted the searches and provided convincing explanations to all questions posed by the Court.

The arguments of Lisa Blatt in US v. Flores-Montano can be found here. Arguments in that case were very technical and Ms. Blatt answered all of the questions with confidence. Ms. Blatt still works at the SG’s office and has argue two cases this term, most recently on March 31, 2009.

The Court also referenced another case in the same question but never cited the case. Does anyone know the name of the case?

Know your client’s business. One counsel representing a large beer brewing corporation was asked the following by a Justice during argument: “What is the difference between beer and ale?” The question had little to do with the issues, but the case involved the beer brewing business. Counsel gave a brief, simple, and clear answer that was understood by everyone in the Courtroom. He knew the business of his client, and it showed. The Justice who posed the question thanked counsel in a warm and gracious manner.

Any ideas?


1 Response to “An Example of Excellent Oral Advocacy”

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