Today, I had my first oral argument at the Court of Appeal in perhaps two years.

Argument is granted more frequently in civil cases than criminal ones at the Georgia Court of Appeals. So, most of my arguing is at the Supreme Court down the hall.

The presiding judge began most of the cases with a summary of the facts. I wasn’t sure if the purpose of the summary was to inform the public of the context or if it was to help move the argument along.

I assumed it was the latter and truncated my presentation. Many of the advocates I heard today went forward with the factual presentation they intended to give. I think I did the right thing, but I’m not completely sure.

I found it helpful. And if you haven’t argued there in a while, you might take note (though don’t rely on it. Not every case had a summary). I don’t know if every panel is doing it or not. And I don’t know how long this practice has been in place.

If you practice in the Ga. COA, please leave a comment to share your experience.