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SCOTUSblog on camera: Neal Katyal (Part two)

Part two: The conversationalist

“Appellate advocacy, particularly at the Supreme Court, is really intimate. I mean, you’re just a few feet away from the Chief Justice. You know, if you’re sweating, they see you. And, it’s a conversation. And, you know, if you’re looking down at your legal pad the whole time, you’re not going to have that conversation.”

Dissecting oral argument: Filing Hamdan v. Rumsfeld (and trying to give it away before it reached the Supreme Court); how an acting coach helped a new Supreme Court advocate; understanding the value of oral argument; the importance of moot argument, the brief and “the binder” that has been consulted only once; believing every Justice is always in play; answering questions from all directions, advocating for one’s client, serving the Court — all in the form of a conversation; and knowing if you have won or lost.

(Fabrizio di Piazza)