Training Guide

Oral Arguments


Training Guide

Oral Arguments

Motion Practice
Remote or in person

What’s Covered

  • Tips for creating useful notes
  • Other things you can do to prepare
  • Structuring your presentation
  • Tips for presenting well
  • How to handle different reactions from the judge
  • Rebuttal tips

Before the Session

Prepare the Attendees

Send the attendees an invitation for the session. Include this link, which has the videos and exercise they’ll need to prepare.

Prepare Yourself

Watch the videos and read the exercise so you’re familiar with the Hotshot material.

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    Oral Arguments

    Rules, norms, and tips for arguing a motion before a judge; and tips for preparing for an oral argument.

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    Oral Arguments


During the Session

Part 1: Knowledge Check
Ask attendees these questions to ensure they understand the topic:
  • When creating notes for your oral argument, what kinds of things should your notes include, and what are some mistakes to avoid?
  • How should you structure your presentation?
  • What are some ways you can adapt your argument based on the judge’s reactions?
  • What kinds of things should you cover in your rebuttal?
Part 2: Group Exercise
Lead a group discussion based on the exercise. To encourage collaboration, divide the attendees into groups to discuss the exercise, then have a representative from each group summarize their views to the larger group. Call on people to share their thoughts and ask others to respond.
Tip for remote sessions: use your web conferencing system’s breakout room feature to divide people into groups.
Part 3: War Stories and Firm Specifics
Share your own experiences and guidance, including:
  • Anecdotes and war stories (e.g., about a near-disaster or a tough negotiation)
  • General practice tips (dos and don’ts)
  • Firm-specific guidance and practices

After the Session

To continue their learning, attendees can check out related courses in Hotshot’s Motion Practice topic.

About Hotshot

Hotshot helps lawyers develop their legal, business, and technology skills through short videos, quizzes, and summaries, and we help law firms and law schools plan and deliver engaging training programs. Our customers include Am Law 200 firms, top law schools, and regional and international firms.

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