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Thursday, September 11, 2003

The Unalawyer's Manifesto

Two parties, one appeal—one lawyer? If you're X-Treme Advocate Blair Hoffman, you just might convince a court to make it happen. Blair, who is a judicial staff attorney with Justice Ming Chin of the California Supreme Court, has won the California Lawyer's X-Treme Advocacy contest, as selected by Judge Alex Kozinski. In introducing the winner, Judge Kozinski discussed the fine art of advocacy:

I decided that the winning entry would be the one that did the best job of making me doubt my initial negative reaction to the proposition it was advancing. We do see this in cases on occasion: An advocate will advance a point that seems wholly counterintuitive-one that has no apparent chance of success. And then, by skillful use of logic and authority, the advocate manages to turn the judges around and secure a victory for his client. Whenever that happens, it confirms once again that lawyers are not fungible and that great advocacy can make a big difference in the outcome of cases.

Myron Moskowitz provides yet more advocatorial inspiration in the same issue ("Get It Right the First Time: tips from an appellate lawyer").

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