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Supreme Court Justices on Writing Opinions, the Role of Law Clerks, and Effective Advocacy:
Over at LawProse.Org, Bryan Garner has posted a remarkable set of extended interviews with eight of the nine current Supreme Court Justices (all but Souter) about legal writing, advocacy, and the process of deciding cases and writing opinions. The interviews are one-on-one, and each ranges from 30 minutes to over an hour. Justices Breyer, Ginsburg, and Thomas were interviewed in their chambers, and the rest appear to be in either the Lawyer's Lounge or the SG's room in the Court building. Garner conducted the interviews in 2006-07, although I don't know when he posted the files.

  For Supreme Court geeks, these interviews are a gold mine. The Justices discuss a wide range of topics including how they write opinions; the role of law clerks; tips for effective advocacy; what they look for in cert petitions; whether specialists or generalists are better advocates; what parts of briefs they read first; the differences between being a lower court judge and a Supreme Court Justice; and which Justices — and in some cases, which professors — they think are the best writers. Each discussion is tailored to the specific Justice. For example, much of the Roberts interview focuses on how he approached written and oral advocacy as a lawyer before he became a judge. (Tremendously valuable advice, I thought.)

  Anyway, it's all super cool stuff. Thanks to Roy Englert for the link.

  UPDATE: Those watching using Windows should right-click on the image, click "zoom," and then click "full screen". That brings the video to full size.
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