Quick Guide to Oral Advocacy

Oral Advocacy (2): Introducing yourselves

Date: 2016-10-20 16:31:23     Views: 971

An instructional video about oral advocacy in mooting. This episode describes how to introduce yourself in oral advocacy proceedings.

Transcript

SL: Hi, welcome back. I’m Sabrina and this is the Quick Guide to Oral Advocacy. In this episode, you’ll learn how to introduce yourself in oral advocacy proceedings, whether before a judge, a panel of judges as in a court of appeal, or a sole arbitrator or a panel of arbitrators in an Arbitration Tribunal. You may be thinking: Oh come on! I’ve introduced myself many times on different occasions. But the first impression that you make in a moot is absolutely crucial: it’s very important that you get off to a good start by introducing yourself and your team in an efficient and appropriate way.

SL: In this episode, you’ll learn: how to address moot judges; elements of a good introduction: name, party, responsibility and time; the use of verbs, that is, the preferred tense, aspect and voice; and common expressions like appear on behalf of.

SL: The very first thing that you’re going to have to think about is how to address judges. Let’s take a look at how Patrick does this in the ADR moot competition:

President: Can I perhaps ask the Claimant’s team to introduce themselves first, please?

PW: Certainly, Mr President and members of the Tribunal.

SL: Patrick begins his introduction by respectfully addressing the arbitral panel. Here, the Arbitrator who invites the team to introduce themselves is the male president of the Arbitral Tribunal, so Patrick calls him Mr President. Often, in a three-member panel, you will call the chair Mr Chairman or Madam Chairman, and the two members Mr Arbitrator or Madam Arbitrator. In court hearings held in the High Court, judges are addressed as My Lord or My Lady. Address judges as Your Honour in those held in the District Court. As you can see, these forms of address change with the jurisdiction, the type and level of court or tribunal. Make sure that you know the correct form of address before you introduce yourself – you don’t want to make a bad impression! Let’s see the rest of that clip and take a look at how Patrick introduces himself and his partner:

President: Can I perhaps ask the Claimant’s team to introduce themselves first, please?
PW: Certainly, Mr President and members of the Tribunal. My name is Patrick Williams and I appear on behalf of the Claimant, with my co-counsel Miss Heather Costelloe. I will be addressing Terms of Reference A and B of this Tribunal’s Procedural Order No. 1 and I will be speaking on these matters for fourteen minutes. My co-counsel will be addressing Terms of Reference C and D and she will also be speaking for fourteen minutes. We’ll respectively reserve one minute for rebuttal and one minute for surrebuttal.

SL: As you can see, the elements of a self-introduction should ideally include: name – your name and your partner’s name; party – who you are representing; responsibility – what you and your partner will be responsible for respectively; and time – how you will allocate time.

SL: As far as language is concerned, be careful with the use of verb forms. When you’re introducing yourself and who you’re representing, use the present simple tense.

EN: My name is Patrick Williams and I appear on behalf of the Claimant, with my co-counsel Miss Heather Costelloe.

SL: For those elements about actions that take place in the future, use the modal will.

EN: I will be addressing Terms of Reference A and B of this Tribunal’s Procedural Order No. 1.

SL: Interestingly, the progressive aspect, which uses the -ing form of the verb, is often used together with will to talk about actions that are part of an arrangement made beforehand.

EN: I will be addressing Terms of Reference A and B of this Tribunal’s Procedural Order No. 1.

SL: It’s preferable to use active voice throughout. After all, you want to tell the audience clearly and directly who is doing what.

SL: Just now you’ve seen Patrick introducing himself and his partner Heather. Alternatively, you and your partner can take turns to do the introduction. Let’s see how Mansi and Priyanka work with each other in the competition:

MS: My name is Mansi Sood and I appear on behalf of the Respondent, along with my co-counsel Priyanka Madan.

PM: My name is Priyanka Madan and I shall be addressing the substantive issues in the dispute today.

MS: I will be addressing the Tribunal on the first two issues. And I will take twelve minutes of the Tribunal’s time.

SL: Through the examples you’ve just watched, you should be able to identify some useful phrases, such as I appear on behalf of the Respondent/Claimant; I will be addressing Terms of Reference A and B; and we will reserve (time) for (part).

SL: As the saying goes, ‘a good beginning is half the battle’. If you can master the strategies presented in this episode, you’re almost there!

SL: In the next episode, we’ll move onto a more challenging skill – stating a case theory. Stay tuned!

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