Effective Oral Advocacy: How to Prepare For and Handle Oral Arguments

Level: Intermediate
Runtime: 63 minutes
Recorded Date: October 16, 2018
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  • Moot Courts
  • Researching the Court
  • Pre-Argument Rituals
  • Argument
  • Argument Tips
  • After the Argument
Runtime: 1 hour and 3 minutes
Recorded: October 16, 2018


Learn how to prepare for and deliver top quality oral arguments from a Ninth Circuit judge and two talented rising stars in the appellate and general litigation fields. The Honorable Michelle Friedland was appointed to the Ninth Circuit in 2013. She has presided over numerous oral arguments including, most notably, the Trump administration’s request for an administrative stay of the district court’s TRO. Theane Evangelis is an appellate, class action, and general commercial litigation partner at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. She recently argued in the Sixth Circuit on behalf of Uber in a proposed overtime class action. Elaine Goldenberg has argued 12 cases in the U.S. Supreme Court. Before joining a law firm she she was in the Solicitor General’s Office, where she briefed 20 Supreme Court cases at the merits stage and more than 100 cases at the certiorari stage, as well as helping to formulate the government’s positions and appellate strategy in the lower courts.

This program was recorded on October 16th, 2018.

Provided By

American Bar Association


Elaine Goldenberg

Munger Tolles & Olson LLP

Elaine Goldenberg is a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of Munger, Tolles & Olson. She focuses her practice on complex litigation and appeals.

Ms. Goldenberg joined the firm in 2017 from the U.S. Department of Justice, where she served as an Assistant to the Solicitor General. She has argued 12 cases in the U.S. Supreme Court. During her five-year tenure in the Solicitor General’s Office, she briefed 20 Supreme Court cases at the merits stage and more than 100 cases at the certiorari stage, as well as helping to formulate the government’s positions and appellate strategy in the lower courts. Ms. Goldenberg has extensive experience in securities law, foreign-state immunity, constitutional law, and extraterritoriality questions.

Ms. Goldenberg has played a critical role in numerous significant matters before the Supreme Court. In the area of securities law, she argued for the government in Kokesh v. Securities and Exchange Commission and in Chadbourne and Parke LLP v. Troice, and she wrote the government’s brief in Salman v. United States, an important case about the standard for insider-trading liability. With respect to foreign-state immunity and extraterritoriality, Ms. Goldenberg argued for the government in Venezuela v. Helmerich & Payne International Drilling Company, which clarified the meaning of the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, and RJR Nabisco v. The European Community, which explained how to conduct an extraterritoriality analysis. She also argued various other cases involving the interpretation of federal statutes. In recognition of her work, Ms. Goldenberg was awarded the DOJ’s John Marshall Award for Outstanding Legal Achievement for Handling of Appeals.

Prior to her government service, Ms. Goldenberg spent more than a decade in private practice. During that time, she focused on appellate litigation, with a particular emphasis on communications, intellectual property, bankruptcy, and government contracts, and she argued cases in a number of federal and state appellate courts.

Before entering private practice, Ms. Goldenberg clerked for Judge Sandra Lynch in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit and Judge Jed Rakoff in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Ms. Goldenberg earned a J.D., magna cum laude, from Harvard Law School, where she was executive editor of the Harvard Law Review. She earned an A.B., summa cum laude, in history and literature from Harvard College.

Theane Evangelis

Gibson Dunn

Theane Evangelis is an appellate, class action, and general commercial litigation partner in the Los Angeles office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. She serves as Co-Chair of the firm’s Class Actions Practice Group and as Vice Chair of the California Appellate Practice Group. Ms. Evangelis is also a member of the Labor and Employment, Media, Entertainment, and Technology, and Crisis Management Practice Groups. She joined Gibson Dunn after serving as a law clerk to Justice Sandra Day O’Connor during October Term 2004 and as an associate with Ziffren Brittenham, a Los Angeles law firm specializing in entertainment and media transactions. Before clerking for Justice O’Connor, Ms. Evangelis was a law clerk on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Ms. Evangelis has played a substantial role in a wide range of appellate, constitutional, media and entertainment, and crisis management matters, as well as a variety of employment, consumer and other class actions. Her professional achievements are widely recognized by leading publications. In 2018, she was named as one of Los Angeles’ Most Influential Women Attorneys by the Los Angeles Business Journal, an honor designated for only 75 of the city’s most influential women attorneys, and in 2017, the Daily Journal named her as a “Top Women Lawyer” in California.

Hon. Michelle Friedland

Circuit Judge
U.S Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

Michelle Taryn Friedland is a federal judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.

Prior to joining the court, Friedland was a litigation partner at the San Francisco-based office of Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP.

On August 1, 2013, President Obama nominated Friedland to the United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit to fill the vacancy left by Raymond Fisher. Obama commented on the nomination, stating, "Michelle T. Friedland, Justice Nancy L. Moritz and John B. Owens will bring an unwavering commitment to fairness and judicial integrity to the federal bench. Their impressive legal careers are testaments to the kind of thoughtful and diligent judges they will be on the Ninth and Tenth Circuits. I am honored to nominate them today."

Friedland was rated Unanimously Well Qualified for the nomination by the American Bar Association. Hearings on Friedland's nomination were held before the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary on November 6, 2013. Under Rule XXXI, paragraph six, of the standing rules of the U.S. Senate, Friedland's nomination was returned to the president on January 3, 2014.

Friedland was renominated by President Obama on January 6, 2014. Friedland's nomination was reported by U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) on January 16, 2014. Friedland was confirmed on a recorded 51-40 vote of the United States Senate on April 28, 2014, and she received her commission on April 29, 2014.

Born in Berkeley, California, Friedland earned her undergraduate degree with honors in 1995 from Stanford University. She studied on a Fulbright Scholarship at Oxford University. She earned her J.D. from Stanford Law School in 2000, graduating second in her class.

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