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We recently wrote in favor of a New York judge’s initiative urging law firms to provide younger lawyers with more time on their feet in the courtroom, both as a general stimulus to professional development, and as an aid to the further diversification of the bar. Though the result is almost certainly not intended, the newly proposed revision to R. 2:11-1 of the Rules of Court, which governs oral argument of appeals, would go in the opposite direction. The present R. 2:11-1(b)(3) permits up to two attorneys to divide oral argument of an appeal without leave of court. The proposed amendment would require leave of court whenever more than one attorney argues. We believe that the present, more flexible rule provides good opportunities for junior lawyers to acquire appellate experience by arguing discrete issues, and we are not aware of any abuses that would require tightening of the rule. Unfortunately, the court has not explained why it believes the change is necessary.

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