Jessup Competitors Guide Videos: Part 2


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White & Case Jessup Competition Resources

Ask to clarify a question

If an oralist does not understand a particular question, simply ask the judge to rephrase the question or provide clarification. It is better to be honest with the Court about a misunderstanding than answer a question that he or she does not comprehend.


Transitioning to another issue

At some point during the oral argument, an oralist will have to transition to the next argument. An oralist should recognize when the first issue has been adequately addressed or when he or she has spent too much time on the first issue. At this point the oralist should make the transition or ask the Court for permission to move on to another issue.


Active bench

Oralists are often asked multiple, and even simultaneous, questions which are followed by comments from the bench. This is called an "active bench" and it is important for oralists to stay calm, respectful, flexible and focused.


Cite specific law or Compromis section

Jessup judges will often ask about a specific point of law or fact in the Compromis. An oralist should explicitly cite the point of law or paragraph in the Compromis that supports the oralist's argument. This demonstrates a mastery of the law and the facts.


Conclusion without time left

An oralist often runs out of time before getting to the conclusion. When the bailiff indicates the time is up, the oralist should immediately stop talking and ask the President for permission to finish the point and conclude. If permitted, the oralist should finish the point, thank the Court and sit down.


Inconsistencies between pleadings

The Compromis often contains apparent conflicts between arguments from oralists representing the same side. Oralists should be prepared to address such conflicts and inconsistencies.


Questions about Co-Agent's argument

When the first oralist is asked about his or her Co-Agent's argument, the question should be answered briefly and the oralist should state that the Co-Agent will address the question fully. However, when the second oralist is asked about arguments from the first oralist, he or she is expected to answer the question fully with points made earlier by the Co-Agent.


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