Junior members of legal teams representing clients are invited to argue motions they have helped prepare and to question witnesses with whom they have worked. Firms are encouraged to provide this opportunity to junior attorneys for training purposes. This Court is amenable to permitting a number of lawyers to argue for one party if this creates an opportunity for a junior lawyer to participate. The ultimate decision of who speaks on behalf of the client is for the lawyer in charge of the case, not for the Court.
The Court is cognizant of a growing trend in which fewer cases go to trial, and in which there are generally fewer opportunities in court for speaking or “stand-up” engagements. This is especially true for newer attorneys, that is, attorneys practicing for less than seven years (“Newer Attorney(s)”).
Participation by Junior Attorneys: The Court encourages the participation of less experienced attorneys in all proceedings — including pretrial conferences, hearings on discovery disputes, oral arguments, and examinations of witnesses at trial — particularly where that attorney played a substantial role in drafting the underlying filing or in preparing the relevant witness.
Participation of Junior Attorneys. To assist in the training of the next generation of attorneys, the Court strongly encourages relatively inexperienced attorneys—in particular, attorneys with less than 5 years’ experience—to participate in all courtroom proceedings.
The Court strongly encourages all attorneys and their clients to provide substantive speaking opportunities to less experienced attorneys. The Court recognizes that newer attorneys do not have as many opportunities to appear and argue in court. Although oral argument is not necessary for the Court to rule on the majority of motions filed before it, the Court will consider scheduling oral argument if a party requests it and commits to entrust the argument to an attorney who has been out of law school for fewer than six years.
The Court strongly encourages parties to permit less experienced attorneys to actively participate in the proceedings by presenting argument at motion hearings or examining witnesses at trial. The Court is amendable to permitting a number of attorneys to argue for one party at a motion hearing or case management conference if this creates an opportunity for such attorneys to participate.
III(H). Opportunities for Junior Lawyers
The Court strongly encourages parties to permit less experienced lawyers to actively participate in the proceedings by presenting argument at motion hearings or examining witnesses at trial
The Court has a strong commitment to supporting the development of our next generation of trial lawyers. Parties and senior counsel are encouraged to give newer practitioners the opportunity to argue in court. To that end, the Court will typically guarantee oral argument on any motion handled by a lawyer with 6 or fewer years of experience. The Court should be advised that a newer lawyer is doing the argument well in advance of the hearing date.
The Court encourages larger law firms to give junior attorneys an opportunity to participate in the resolution of discovery disputes on telephone calls or at hearings. However, lead trial counsel must be present for all such proceedings.