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In the face of withering questions from the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday, Atlanta attorney Teresa Wynn Roseborough took a calculated risk. She added a little levity. Roseborough, a partner at Sutherland Asbill & Brennan, intervened in Tuesday’s appeals on behalf of the Democratic Party of Florida. She argued that statistics gathered by the Florida Secretary of State do not prove conclusively that hand-counted votes carry more weight because they are handled with more scrutiny than machine-counted ballots elsewhere in the state. As she cited a Miami Herald voter analysis to bolster her argument, Judge Edward E. Carnes attempted to shut her down. “Are you telling me what’s in the newspaper?” he asked. “We’re aware of it.” “But it’s good stuff,” Roseborough responded, drawing a laugh from the appeals panel. Judge Frank M. Hull promptly intervened on her behalf. “I want the answer you’re trying to say,” he said, giving Roseborough another chance to make her argument. The attorney, who penned the Florida Democratic Party’s friend-of-the-court brief, weathered a legal buffeting from several judges who challenged her position that state election issues should remain hands-off for the federal judiciary. But Roseborough, who once clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, held her own in the face of the sharp questioning by the appeals judges. She remained undaunted even when Judge Stanley F. Birch Jr. demanded, “How many jury trials have you been involved in?” after she suggested that canvassing boards can divine a voter’s intent without instructions, much like a jury determines intent in a trial. Actually, Roseborough has an extensive background in litigation. She is a former adjunct professor of litigation at Emory University’s School of Law and a former deputy assistant attorney general with the U.S. Justice Department.

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