are one of those particularly American Legal thing. At the Appellate Level you have apposing council and and a panel of judges. Unlike your standard courtroom trial, those judges can, and do, ask questions. They also interrupt and try to score of you, your opponent and the other judges.
It is words for knives veiled in politeness at less than 10 paces. Someone
dies loses every time. Reminds me of a song heard long ago, sung at Darkover by Clam Chowder when Shana was young. It was all about two lawyers apposing each other. When all was said and done, they shook hands as friends.
It some worlds, it would be impossible to treat your opponent as a friend. The legal mind appears not to experience cognitive dissonance: this representation is a job; everyone is entitled to good representation; I can do this. But why, someone like me asks? Don’t you have a compass? Can you just put aside what you believe in order to earn top prize money? Or worse, don’t you believe in anything? Are you for sale?
Medicine is so different from this. Many of us struggle with the idea of making a living off the bad things that happen to others. I think it is why there has been the tendency to take salaried positions over the last couple of decades; to not have to worry about who is paying what. To be able to battle on the side of one’s patient rather than with them to get costs covered.
Gee, got off track didn’t I?
Anyway, I was stuck today in the Moot Court Room, 4th floor of 198 McAlilster. One of my classmates and I had drawn apposing sides of a made up issue about free speech, loud students and printed t-shirts. Sela has had sick children at home, I have had absolutely no interest in writing out an oral argument. As it turns out, each of us did most of our decision making and prep in the hours right before our noon appearance.
And we both did fine. Sometimes there is over preparation. And sometimes you just get lucky.