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How to Succeed as a Trial Lawyer: Arguing Motions and Appeals Persuasively

Level: Advanced
Runtime: 60 minutes
Recorded Date: July 18, 2019
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  • Preparing for oral arguments of motions
  • Drafting and distilling your oral argument to its essence
  • Practicing your oral argument
  • Enhancing your persuasiveness in court
  • Dealing with nerves in court
  • How to answer judges' questions, including those seeking concessions
  • Arguing on appeal, as appellant and as applellee
Runtime: 1 hour
Recorded: July 18, 2019


With these tips, you will enhance your persuasiveness in arguing motions and appeals. This instructional program will demonstrate how to prepare for arguing motions and appeals, how to speak with authority, what documents to bring to the podium and how to use them effectively, how to calm your nerves as you are about to argue, and how to answer tough questions from judges.

By the end of this program, you will learn valuable skills in arguing motions and appeals, including:
  • How to prepare for oral argument of motions and appeals
  • How to answer judges' questions at oral argument
  • How to avoid common pitfalls at oral argument
This program was recorded on July 18th, 2019.

Provided By

American Bar Association
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Stewart I Edelstein

Clinical Visiting Lecturer in Law
Yale Law School

Stewart Edelstein lives in Stockbridge with his wife, Lynn. He has been a trial lawyer for 40 years. He is the author of two books, Dubious Doublets: A Delightful Compendium of Unlikely Word Pairs of Common Origin, from Aardvark/Porcelain to Zodiac/Whiskey (John Wiley & Sons, Inc.) and How to Succeed as a Trial Lawyer (American Bar Association), as well as numerous articles in professional journals for lawyers. He is on the board of the Stockbridge Land Trust and of the Literacy Network of Southern Berkshire and has served on boards of the Greater Bridgeport Symphony Orchestra and the Fairfield Historical Society.

He is a graduate of Oberlin College (1970) and Cornell Law School (1973). He taught at Yale Law School for 20 years, and in the Spring of 2015, he taught his first OLLI course on etymology. He is a graduate of Oberlin College and Cornell Law School, where he was on the moot court team. At Stanford Law School, he completed the Advanced Course in Trial Advocacy, and at Harvard Law School, he completed the Teacher Training Program, both under the auspices of the National Institute for Trial Advocacy.

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