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Taking Oral Argument to School

Dave Hoffman

Dave Hoffman is a James E. Beasley Professor of Law at Temple Law School. He specializes in law and psychology, contracts, and quantitative analysis of civil procedure. He currently teaches contracts, civil procedure, corporations, and law and economics.

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2 Responses

  1. Cathy says:

    Not that I think it’s bad to hold some sessions at law schools, but there’s something to be said for having the civic structure of a courthouse. It’s a place where people go for justice. Yes, the justice comes from the session itself, but I think it’s good to have a courthouse as a sort of sacred place where we normally expect to go to get it.

    I wrote a couple years ago about the first time I saw the federal courthouse in Boston:

    “Also impressive was the courtroom itself. The entire building in fact is a sight to behold. Relatively new it stands on the water with sweeping vistas of the harbor. The courtroom inspires a sort of revery. Although its modern touches lend the room some sense of comfort, the arrangement of the room with the gallery pews and judicial bench prompts a sense of awe, driven home by the great seal mounted above and behind the bench. A courtroom is a temple, I realized, where we are humbled before, and celebrate, the power of our humanity.”

    I think we might lose some of that dignity if the court was always roaming.

  2. Seth says:

    I think I have to disagree a little with Cathy. The first time I stepped into a courtroom, I was utterly underwhelemed, as it basically just looked like a slightly bigger version of the mock courtrooms at many law schools. Plus, Dave’s talking about state appellate courts, not federal courthouses. Seems to me, with so many states and localities having financial problems right now, there might be some $$$ incentive to taking up this plan.

    It’ll never happen, of course, but it’s certainly an interesting proposition.

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