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green hall news

Judge launches lecture series with advice for advocates

BY MINDIE PAGET

circuit court judge chronicled the development of Henry then focused in on Aristotle’s three components advocacy from Aristotle’s Greece to the modern of successful persuasion: the ability to instantly develop American courtroom in January when he launched character and create trust and belief with the audience; the the lecture series associated with the law school’s newest ability to convince the audience of a viewpoint by playing intellectual center. to their emotions and dispositions; and the ability to make Fortunately for the current and future advocates in the a logical argument. audience, he also illuminated the high points along the way. Like it or not, he said, character and argument are inter The Hon. Robert Henry, chief judge of the U.S. Court of twined. Appeals for the 10th Circuit, delivered the first Shook, Hardy “While a judge may not consciously judge the value of a & Bacon Center for Excelbrief based on the character of lence in Advocacy Annual the lawyer, if a lawyer throws Lecture on Jan. 29 at the Dole in 10 meritless arguments and WATCH video of Judge Henry’s speech Institute of Politics. More buries a good one in the midat the Dole Institute of Politics than 60 students, faculty, dle, a judge is less inclined to alumni, judges and firm lawbelieve the good one,” Henry yers attended the talk, titled said. “And he’s also inclined “Overcoming Advocacy.” to doubt the goodness and Henry commended fair-mindedness of the adDean Agrawal, the school vocate. An advocate who is and the firm for starting caught playing fast and loose the center, which aims to with the record should not enhance the learning experibe surprised to find the court ence of students who aspire questioning his argument, to be trial lawyers. regardless of the merits. The art of professional “Likewise, a frank but legal advocacy is virtually appropriate concession or synonymous with what Arproviding the court with istotle called the art of rhetoauthority contrary to your ric, Henry contended, noting position – and attempting to The Hon. Robert Henry, chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the that the philosopher was the distinguish it fairly – enhanc10th Circuit, delivered the inaugural Shook, Hardy & Bacon Center for first thinker to advance the es reputation.” Excellence in Advocacy Annual Lecture on Jan. 29. Right: Judge Henry simple idea of tailoring an Although Aristotle was not speaks with Kit Smith, L’72, right, after the lecture. argument to the knowledge referring to reputation when and values of the audience. he talked about character, It seems obvious, Henry said, but is it? the reputation of a legal advocate is important, Henry said, “One of the greatest mistakes I see in appellate advocacy especially because future advocates are watching. comes from confusion of this very point,” he said. “Who is the Henry cited several influential studies that found law audience for your appellate brief? It’s not the jury; you won students in practice settings were exposed to far too many or lost that one below. It’s not the client or even the senior instances of flagrant professional misconduct, such as partner; they are already convinced that you’re right. It’s a breaches of confidentiality, excessive fees and destruction judge, and a very busy one with lots of work and lots on her of evidence. mind and a crushing need to get a lot of opinions out. And “The academy has the capacity to be an invaluable liaison you need to craft your advocacy accordingly.” between advocates and their primary audience: judges,” he

14 KU LAW MAGAZINE

KU Law Magazine | Spring 2009  

A magazine for alumni and friends of the University of Kansas School of Law. Story highlights include: Alumni spread legal roots in rural Ka...

KU Law Magazine | Spring 2009  

A magazine for alumni and friends of the University of Kansas School of Law. Story highlights include: Alumni spread legal roots in rural Ka...