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NAGTRI Hosts Inaugural Appellate Practice Conference

Andrea Hampton, Civil Rights Project Manager
Dan Schweitzer, Supreme Court Counsel

The National Attorneys General Training & Research Institute (NAGTRI) launched its first training seminar and inaugural Appellate Practice Conference March 5-6, at the Fairmont Hotel in Washington, D.C. More than 80 state attorneys from 38 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands attended the conference. The focus of the day-and-a-half meeting was to provide advice and techniques for improving the attendees’ brief writing and oral advocacy skills. Presenters included current and former state solicitors general, appellate attorneys in the U.S. Department of Justice, state and federal court judges and private practitioners.

One of the highlights of the conference was a presentation of video clips from actual oral arguments in state supreme courts, which were used to show techniques that work and techniques that definitely don’t work. Another highlight was a session that analyzed the writings of U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts (while in private practice) to show what makes an appellate brief effective. And still more lessons were taught by panels of experienced appellate lawyers providing their knowledge and insights, often using their past cases as concrete examples for the audience.

The mission of NAGTRI is to provide high quality, responsive, and innovative training to America’s Assistant Attorneys General and to provide intellectually adept research on issues of concern and interest to the NAAG membership.

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