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California Supreme Court Courtesy Photo, California Supreme Court

The vantage from the bench of the Supreme Court and Appellate Division courtrooms in Trenton is that of the well where counsel sit with an expanse of largely empty seats behind. Generally, the attendees are easily recognizable as attorneys with matters on the calendar, law clerks interested to hear the oral argument in a particular case and, less frequently, members of the press. On rare occasions, the persons for whom the case matters most—the litigants—attend.

Is that a good idea? Obviously, the client has an absolute right to come to oral argument and, certainly, you must keep your client informed about the progress of the case. But before you encourage your client to attend, first ask yourself: Why do you want your client there?

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