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An Awesome Display of Advocacy Skills

by | Nov 1, 2022

US Supreme Court – Students for Fair Admissions v. University of NC

Argued 31 October 2022

Affirmative Action – Should Race Matter?

Late last night (AEST), I listened to the live stream oral argument before the US Supreme Court about whether to continue to allow higher education institutions to consider race as part an overall holistic analysis of entry applications as a means of promoting diversity and presumed resultant stronger educational outcomes.

The counter-argument was that it was repugnant to continue to take an applicant’s race into account for such purposes, that other race-neutral factors (such as socio-economic standing) could be taken into account and that affirmative action based on race unfairly discriminates against other groups including other minority or disadvantaged groups.

 

Superior Advocacy Skills

As a litigator, I listen to court cases, not to judge the merit of the case, but to hear the legal arguments and note how the advocates present their case,  

I was extremely impressed by the skills displayed by all the advocates – they all advanced strong and nuanced argument in favour of their clients in the face of pointed questions from the bench.

 

Best Advocacy Award

In my opinion, the strongest advocate of all was General Elizabeth Prelogar, who appeared amicus curae for the US Military Academies to argue in favour of allowing continued consideration of an applicant’s race. She noted that the army wished to educate a diverse office corp (overwhelmingly drawn from higher education institutions) to ensure cohesion with the enlisted ranks.

General Prelogar also reflected on the fact that she was one of only two female advocates out of the 27 advocates appearing before the court in the case, (despite women representing over 50% of graduate lawyers), to illustrate the need for affirmative action in favour of minorities to break down entrenched stereotypes.

 

Why would a litigator listen to court cases for fun?

When you choose a profession you find interesting, you’ll naturally gravitate towards learning and growing more within your field of expertise.  I feel that listening to some of the best advocates in the world enhances my advocacy skills.

If you also wish to hear the case or read the transcript click here.

About Leonard Warren
Leonard A. Warren is an expert in litigation and resolving commercial disputes. He has over 25 years of experience helping clients achieve a successful result in disputes involving a diverse array of areas including property, mortgages and securities, building and construction, commercial and residential leases, contracts, negligence, defamation, debt collection, insolvency and bankruptcy, directors' duties, and professional conduct matters. He has acted for clients in the High Court, Federal Court, Federal Circuit Court, Supreme Court of Victoria (including Court of Appeal), County Court of Victoria, Melbourne Magistrates' Court and VCAT and in private arbitration. Leonard also has experience in a diverse array of mediation settings, including judicial and private mediation, DBDRV, and Victorian Small Business Commission. Leonard is the founder and Principal of L A Warren Lawyers.