Written by Kimberly Hardges, SBA Communications Chair.
Last Friday, we were lucky enough to have the Court of Appeals of Indiana hear an oral argument in the McCartan Courtroom. For many 1Ls, myself included, it was the first time we were able to see a litigator in action (let’s just say, I’ll be focusing on transactions for sure now).
Judge Barnes, Judge Crone and Judge Pyle were impressive; all three were able to guide the attorneys through their particular line of questioning while maintaining their own sense of individuality with the questions asked. Both Andrea Rahman and James Williams, the attorneys, handled the questioning remarkably well and were able to eloquently present their arguments.
This was also the first time many of the 1Ls were able to test their knowledge of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. I am happy to report that, with the help of Professors Barrett, Tidmarsh and Robinson, we have all successfully mastered Rule 12(b)(6) and Rule 56(c).
After both attorneys presented their arguments, students were allowed to ask questions. The judges debunked myths about clerks writing legal opinions; informed us that no one, not even judges, know every word of law; and stated the most important things that a lawyer can do when making an oral argument is to listen to the question asked and to answer with references to the applicable law.
There is something to be said about the feeling of seeing someone successfully do what you wish to do in life. I know that many students at other law schools will not have this opportunity, so I would like to offer a sincere thank you to the judges for making sure that we all followed along, to the attorneys for arguing in front of over 100 eager law students, and to the NDLS administration for coordinating this whole event.