Judge Alsup renewed his plea for parties to allow junior attorneys to participate in oral arguments

Friday August 12, Judge Alsup renewed his plea for parties to allow junior attorneys to participate in oral arguments and gain courtroom experience. His admonition came in the midst of a heated battle between Oracle and Google as counsel argued whether or not Oracle’s Java code can be copyrighted. A jury trial in May resulted in a verdict in Google’s favor and both parties filed post-trial motions.

With multiple post-trial hearings slated in the case – including a hearing on Oracle’s motions for judgment as a matter of law and Google’s motion for sanctions and civil contempt – come multiple opportunities for junior attorneys to take the floor. Judge Alsup targeted his invitation toward attorneys at the junior associate level, where representation of women and minorities is typically the strongest.[i] “The court will particularly welcome any lawyer with four or fewer years of experience to argue the upcoming motions,” wrote Judge Alsup.  The invitation was extended in harmony with Judge Alsup’s regular practice of sending such a notice to parties the week preceding every civil motion hearing before him.[ii]

[i] “Women and Minorities in Law Firms by Race and Ethnicities – an Update”; NALP Bulletin, February 2014.

[ii] http://nextgenlawyers.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Judicial-Orders-re-Next-Gen-6-13-16.pdf

Written by: Emily Petersen Garff, August 16, 2016

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