The Legal Advocate

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Winning on Appeal in the U.S. Supreme Court

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This morning in Washington, D.C., NITA author and Fifth Circuit Judge Leslie H. Southwick met with United States Supreme Court Associate Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr. to hand-deliver a signed copy of Winning on Appeal: Better Briefs and Oral Argument, updated this summer by Judge Southwick and Professor Tessa L. Dysart of the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law. 

Justice Alito shares a connection to Winning on Appeal not only for having written the Foreword to the new Third Edition, but also for his relationship with its original author, the late Judge Ruggero J. Aldisert of the Third Circuit. As a young lawyer, Justice Alito presented many a case before Judge Aldisert.

“Arguing before Judge Aldisert was the best (and therefore the most demanding) Socratic experience imaginable. Woe to the lawyer who was unprepared or, worse yet, tried to pull something on the court!” Justice Alito notes in his Foreword to the book. The two later became colleagues on the Third Circuit, sharing a collegial relationship on the bench that spanned fifteen years. 

NITA is honored to have received Justice Alito’s valuable contribution to Winning on Appeal, and we thank Judge Southwick for arranging our introduction to the Justice.

Speaking of Judge Southwick, he also ran into Associate Justice Elena Kagan this morning. She, too, has received a signed copy of Winning on Appeal (not pictured) from Judge Southwick and Professor Dysart. 

If you’re beginning to think you’re missing out by not having your own copy of Winning on Appeal, you can remedy that situation right now. We can’t promise that you’ll receive it signed and hand-delivered by one of the authors—but we do guarantee you’ll learn the “nuts and bolts” of how to prepare an effective brief and pick up on the nuanced art of delivering a persuasive appeal to the court. Judge Southwick and Professor Dysart’s update is replete with dozens of interviews with leading appeals judges and practitioners, treasured guidance from a bona fide who’s who of appellate advocacy in America. We think you’ll agree it’s the perfect blueprint for any lawyer who wants to win on appeal.

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NITA’s team of practicing lawyers, professors and judges from around the nation dedicates its efforts to the training and development of skilled and ethical legal advocates to improve the adversarial justice system.

NITA’s Goals are to:

  • Promote justice through effective and ethical advocacy.
  • Train and mentor lawyers to be competent and ethical advocates in pursuit of justice.
  • Develop and teach trial advocacy skills to support and promote the effective and fair administration of justice.
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