Moot Court Advocacy Series – Season III: ‘Teamwork’, Episode VIII: ‘Passing on the Knowledge’

In the last post from the ‘Teamwork’ season let’s make a step further and focus on something different than just your team. Whether you are a moot court novice or a veteran, you will notice that there are universities which have been participating in moot court competitions for many years. Some of them achieve a lot each and every year, while others never stand out. I admit that there are many reasons for it. Still, it is partly due to lack of knowledge continuity. Participants and coaches keep changing, there is no real stability and no environment to accumulate know-how. Of course, there are some tools that can give you a head start even if you have never taken part in a moot – like this blog, for instance 😉 However, it is far easier to succeed if you are backed by experience and knowledge of the past generations of mooties. If you do not have such tradition, then maybe it is worth to start it? Here are the steps you should take if you no longer want yourself, or others, to start from scratch every year:

  1. Maintain an e-mail address and an online file-sharing platform

I have mentioned several times here and there that to succeed in a moot you need communication tools slightly more sophisticated than your Facebook and Gmail. From your and future teams’ perspective the best solution would be to have:

– a professionally-looking e-mail (preferably affiliated to your university), so that you and future mooties can use the same account, preserve useful contacts or e-mail templates;

– a collaboration platform, which you can use to organize your tasks and communicate without distractions;

– a file hosting service, where you can store and exchange files, edit them online and preserve for the future.

Setting up this essential infrastructure takes time, so keeping it alive and passing on to the people who come after you saves them some time. More importantly, during every moot you accumulate files, knowledge and good practices that can be preserved within them, again making life of future teams easier and eliminating the need to chase former participants when something is necessary.

  1. Make sure your university cares

Universities and law schools vary significantly in terms of their approach towards mooting, the way they support and promote it. Some provide teams with excellent infrastructure, coaches, and supervise the training process, preceded by a competitive selection of candidates to the team. Others do absolutely nothing apart from acknowledging that a particular group of students is a team under their brand. Unsurprisingly, it is far easier to ensure continuity when a law school takes some responsibility for the team, helps with the selection process and at least attempts to create some institutional framework around it. If your university has not done it yet, then try to talk to the competent people and persuade them that it is within the university’s best interest.

  1. Become a coach

However, the best way to make sure that the know-how you acquire during a moot is not lost is to take the wheel and become a coach yourself! I owe every success achieved during mooting to my coaches that used to moot before me and took the time and effort to prepare people for the competition. Being a coach gives you some personal benefits – like staying in touch with the mooting community – but first and foremost increases the chances of success for your students. I also became a coach when I was too old to take part in competitions. And trust me, it is worth it!

All the best,

Marek

Moot Court Advocacy Series – Season III: ‘Teamwork’, Episode VII: ‘What Makes It a Paradise’

In the last post I wrote a lot about the ‘dark side’ of working in a team – and all the things that can go wrong. This time let’s be positive and check what you need if you want to create a real dream team!

  1. Problem-solving attitude

When you face a crisis – focus on it and fix it. Every moot court is a huge and work-intensive project, so a little spark can quickly turn into a large fire if you ignore it. If you and your teammates are a part of the solution and a part of the problem your cooperation will be significantly better. Making it happen is not rocket science – focus on the issues, not on the people. Be proactive in finding answers to academic, organizational and personal challenges you might encounter. Remain open to what others propose. Remember that you are interdependent and that our success depends on how well you do as a team.

  1. Coherent approach of the team

Teamwork makes sense only if everyone is equally dedicated. Make it clear at the very beginning what is your approach as a team: are you taking part in a moot to win it, just to learn from the experience or maybe your motivations are entirely different? Every reason and every goal is equally good as long as it is shared by other members of your team. When half of your teammates is relaxed about the competition and the other half – extremely motivated to win it is a recipe for frustration and failure. However, when you all share the same approach the overall experience will be positive and you should be satisfied with the outcome of your hard work.

  1. Balance between fun and work

Moot courts are not only about hard work, drafting memos till late at night and spending your weekends on pleadings. It is true that if you want to succeed, you need to put a lot of effort into it. However, you must not forget that mooting, as every sport, is also about pure joy of doing it. Whether you crave excellent results or do not care about them that much, you expose yourself to a lot of unnecessary stress when you reject the fun part. Take advantage of the acquaintances you make, the places you can visit, the events you can attend and the progress you experience as a person and as a lawyer. Finding the middle ground might prove tricky, but ensures you and your team are satisfied with the moot experience.

I wish you all a lot of team spirit!

All the best,

Marek

Moot Court Advocacy Series – Season III: ‘Teamwork’, Episode VI: ‘What Makes It a Nightmare’

Every team starts its moot court preparations with enthusiasm a lot of motivation and high hopes. Some teams never lose this spirit. However, in most cases you have to deal with small and big crises. There are situations that can become extremely frustrating for the whole team. If you are able to identify them and solve early, they should not disrupt your preparations. However, if left unchecked, they may generate so much frustration you will stop enjoying the moot court experience altogether – not to mention performing well during the competition.

Here are five situations that can turn your team’s participation in a moot into a nightmare. Watch out and deal with them as a team as soon as they are noticed!

  1. Lack of communication

Quick and efficient communication is an essential component of your success. I have already stressed here and here how important it is to agree on the means you will use and establish adequate channels for your exchange of information and discussions. However, even the best framework will not work if you stop using it without explanation. Ignoring calls and messages is devastating for your team’s workflow and is stressful both for your coaches ad your teammates when they do not hear from you. Not responding, especially if something goes wrong or is not done timely, never improves the situation. I have never seen anyone drop out of the team because they honestly admitted they have a problem which requires more time to be solved. I have seen people drop out from the team because they literally disappeared.

  1. Lack of dedication

Poor communication may be a sign that there are is a much more serious problem looming on the horizon – uneven dedication between team members. In a perfect world the competition is equally important for everyone and everyone is ready to do his or hers part as badly as the other. Unfortunately, attitudes differ: some initially motivated people end up lagging behind, some get bored, some find mooting from the very beginning far less important than others… More often than not you are assessed as a team, so it is fair to say that the least engaged person sets standard for the others. Make sure this standard is high enough to perform well and that hard-working people do not get discouraged because of free riders.

  1. Lack of timeliness

Meeting the deadlines you set (or the ones set by organizers of a particular moot court) might seem self-explanatory. By being constantly late with delivering your input you not only put your work at risk. You disrupt the schedule of the whole team, what in the worst case may lead to submitting an unfinished memorandum. You obstruct other people’s work, since their position might depend on what you come up with. In consequence, monitoring timeliness and signalling potential delays as soon as possible really helps your team run smoothly.

  1. Lack of honesty

It goes without saying that small misstatements or outright lies regarding everything that is competition-related are unacceptable. They will ruin your cooperation with coaches and colleagues, destroy mutual trust that you need within the team to succeed. No matter how bad the situation is and whatever happens, be honest with the people you work with.

I hope that now you will be able to identify these undesirable problems and address them before they pose a real threat to your team!

All the best,

Marek

Moot Court Advocacy Series – Season III: ‘Teamwork, Episode V: ‘Sources’

“What is your authority on that?” is probably one of the most oft-asked questions in the legal world. You are likely to hear it even more often during moot courts, since you usually have to deal with controversial issues and your knowledge is ruthlessly tested. No matter how witty your arguments are, it is always necessary to support them with similar views of scholars and commentators, as well as favourable case law. Even when you know you are right, your position looks far weaker if it is not standing, as Isaac Newton once put it, “on the shoulders of giants”.

In consequence, both in the written and the oral phase of the competition you have to do your research and find a variety of books, articles, publications and, most importantly, cases to back your reasoning.

But the question remains – where to get them?

  1. Library

Maybe you find it surprising that I put this old-fashioned institution first. However, from my experience plenty of students have no idea of the wealth of knowledge and readily-available sources that university libraries offer. Of course, it depends on the size and profile of your law school, but I still encourage everyone to run a couple of searches there and track as many relevant and serious positions to cite as possible. What is more, contrary to the widespread opinion, the internet really does not contain everything. Professional and high-quality sources that you should use are often hidden behind a (thick) paywall. Instead of giving up, relying on someone else’s citations or inaccurate (and probably illegal) scans it is always better to look for full texts in the place where they are most likely lying. It might be easier than you think, since many universities have access to…

  1. Legal databases

Specialized online databases that contain pieces of legislation, publications and case law are definitely the most convenient and probably the most effective way of doing research. It is partly due to the fact that people and companies managing them do a huge chunk of the necessary work for you. The databases are usually well optimized and direct you quickly to relevant bits of information by connecting legislation, commentaries and cases, since professional lawyer who usually use them have no time to spare on inefficient systems. The problem is that such databases are almost never available for free and you need to purchase expensive subscriptions in order to access them. Luckily, there are some solutions to this problem. At times universities provide their students with access codes or dedicated library accounts, but forget to mention it anywhere. Check it and you might find yourself pleasantly surprised! Some moot court organizers manage to negotiate temporary access for the teams and this can be your way in as well. Some members of your team members might be doing internships in law firm during the moot and get access to valuable research opportunities this way. Or maybe there is a law firm that could share their user account with you in exchange for becoming the team’s partner and sponsor? Either way, I strongly recommend trying out these tools.

  1. Researchers’ websites

There are some research-sharing platforms like Academia.edu where people upload their articles and research so that others can access it and use for the purpose of their project. If you are stuck or need inspiration they might be the way to go. People who publish there usually belong to the younger generations of academics. Although their names may lack the gravity of some of the better-known people from the industry, the articles that were accepted by well-known, peer-reviewed papers are certainly a viable source of information and insights.

  1. Other papers and cases you read

A good academic, just as a good counsel, researches a problem thoroughly before drafting a skeleton of an article. That is why an average academic publication will contain plenty of useful citations. Not only scholars do it: case law often contains many references, since judges and arbitrator prefer to support their ruling with relevant authorities and proof that other courts reasoned just as they did. It means that while searching for solutions to a particular problem you can quickly gather many authorities only looking at someone else’s citations. You must not copy them into your piece without previously having read them, of course. But taking notes and then going through what you could find in the available sources can save you a lot of time and painstaking analysis of not necessarily relevant, yet lengthy materials.

  1. Google

…or any other search engine, so that no one accuses me of product placement. I am pretty convinced that it is the very first tool most people use when faced with a moot court problem. It is for good reasons: going deep into what internet in general has to offer can bring surprisingly good results. Many publications make it to the internet one way or another and (bearing in mind copyright law, of course) you are a click away from them. However, they will be by no means sufficient or exhaustive, so do not neglect other sources that you can use.

Good hunting for authorities,

Marek

Moot Court Advocacy Series – Season III: ‘Teamwork, Episode IV: ‘Coach’

Behind every successful team there is a dedicated coach who helped it achieve its full potential. Moot courts are surprisingly similar to traditional sports. More often than not you can notice a significant, positive difference in performance of teams that had a dedicated and experienced coach or coaches to help them. If you are lucky enough to study at a university which makes sure its moot court teams are coached, you should definitely appreciate it! I am sure that if it was not for the coaches who spent a lot of their time helping me and my teams prepare and develop, we would never be successful.

However, it does not mean things are always rosy when you work with a coach. Having someone who monitors your progress, directs your efforts and gives constant feedback is helpful, but can lead to all sorts of conflicts. How can you make sure that your relationship with the coach is productive, not destructive? I hope these four hints will suffice!

  1. Show respect towards each other

It goes without saying that mutual respect should be the backbone of every cooperation. It is even more important in case of projects like moot courts, which are usually an additional activity for everyone, undertaken for the academic challenge, self-development and fun. In the vast majority of cases coaches are neither paid by the university or any other body, nor rewarded in any other tangible way – they simply volunteer to help teams and enjoy their success. As always in case of pro-bono work, being grateful for everybody’s work and respectful helps enormously.

At the same time, as a team member you also deserve respect from your coach. When you feel there is a problem with the way your coach works with the team you should definitely raise it: firstly internally, then before the body which supervises your preparations (usually the university).

  1. Trust each other

Trust in each other’s good intentions, work and motivations is as important as respect. Similarly, it is a two-edged sword. On one hand, as a team member, you should trust your coaches and their advice. When you have doubts, ask for more information. When something they suggest does not persuade you, try to clarify what is wrong and put forward your own proposals to discuss together with the rest of the team. Your coaches have experience and moot court know-how, but probably will never be able to learn the case and all its intricacies as well as you have to for the purpose of the competition, what may cause misunderstandings. On the other hand, make sure that the coaches and the rest of the team can trust you. Do not default on your moot court obligations, make sure what you claim has grounds and is more than just your opinion. Make sure others can rely on you whether it is a piece of research or a call to a sponsor.

  1. Engage in honest communication

To make sure respect and trust are maintained throughout several month a moot court usually takes, you need open and honest communication. Giving each other feedback, flagging problems, delays or disputes as they arise and reaching solutions that are a step forward is impossible if you cannot share your thoughts, ideas and concerns freely.

There are circumstances which can make it hard. Sometimes you find yourself in a team where people have already known each other before or are far more experienced in mooting than you are and that makes you afraid of asking questions or opposing their ideas that you believe are bad. Sometimes you are coached by someone very senior or a professor from the university whose classes you attend and you simply cannot treat that person as a colleague. Sometimes the cultural context is a factor, because in your country or at your university things simply tend to be very formal and you, as a student, might not feel in the position to question something. Sometimes there is just one person out there that has not read the parts of this post regarding respect and trust, and makes things complicated for you or the whole team… Despite all these and other obstacles that might appear, I encourage you to create opportunities for open dialogue about the moot court case, the way your team is working and the choices you make together. It simply help enormously and no one should punish you for trying.

  1. Remember that you would never be able to make it on your own

Mot courts are most often a group exercise. Taking part in them alone is usually not allowed by the rules. Even if it was, it would be futile to try. That is why you should always remember that what matters most is the success of the whole team. If you bear this principle in mind you will be always a part of the solution – and not a part the problem.

I hope that now the cooperation with your coach will be smooth and successful!

Best wishes,

Marek

Moot Court Advocacy Series – Season III: ‘Teamwork, Episode III: ‘When You Write’

People often stay that each team is as good as its worst performing member. As much as I agree with this statement I still believe you can design your team and its activities in a way that reduces the risk you will fail to generate coherent, good results. It is especially necessary during the written stage of each moot court where four, six and sometimes even more people need to deliver their contribution. To make sure you are not held back as a team when you are drafting, think about it:

  1. Set out rules and schedule you will stick to

Let’s start with a brainy quote you are probably well familiar with: if one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favorable. It is hard to say if ancient Romans applied this rule to during their moot courts, but you definitely should to yours. The thing you know for sure (and it does not depend on you) is the deadline for submitting the final version of your memorandum. It is up to you as a team to set dates for regular meetings, think of internal deadlines, agree what programmes and communication channels you use and reserve time for editing and reviewing. Bear in mind moot courts usually span over several months and everyone has other plans, obligations, exams, etc. that should be taken into account. Prepare an availability calendar so that you can remember when someone might be harder to reach. This way you will avoid plenty of stressful situations and increase the chances of finishing all smaller bits of work required for the bigger whole.

  1. Divide work and discuss progress regularly

An entire moot problem will be always too hard to swallow for a single person. As I have already underlined once you are a team so that you can divide the work between each other. Firstly, in case it is not stated in the moot problem, identify contentious issues you need to address. For the sake of everybody’s convenience most moot court cases contain either an order of the moot tribunal or terms of reference that enumerate which points should be addressed. Secondly, try to be smart about the way you divide issues: take into account how experienced or knowledgeable each member of the team is and what is most interesting for each of you. You are most often required to draft memos for both parties to the dispute and it is best if you do not swap issues – writing persuasively is more effective when you deeply understand arguments of both parties. Thirdly, each time you get stuck, feel that what you write overlaps with someone else’s part or even contradicts it – reach out for support from your teammates. In the written memorandum you can use arguments that are on average more complex and sophisticated than the ones appropriate for the oral argument, so they might be more difficult to grasp. The earlier you alert everyone of the issues you need to solve together, the better. And if you would like to learn why this regular and thorough reviewing helps, have a look here.

  1. Be honest

If something is not working – do not pretend it is. No matter if it is an argument in someone else’s part of the memo, the programme you are using or something else, the faster you flag the issue, the better. A healthy team is not an organization where constructive criticism is dismissed. Be ready to give it and take it on board.

  1. Be timely

Writing, reviewing and correcting is a time-consuming exercise (if you wonder why lawyers work long hours – that is at least part of the answer). Since the moot memorandum you are supposed to draft is a rather complex piece composed of many different, yet interdependent parts a delay in one of them means a setback for everyone. That is why being timely with your work matters so much. Additionally, if you have coaches, remember that more often than not the moot is an additional activity they undertake. Their professional lives might interfere and as a team you should give them sufficient time if you really want to give them an opportunity to produce productive input for you.

  1. Learn and make active use of technology

In the previous article in this series I gave a couple of examples  of IT tools that can really boost your performance as a team. You can easily find alternative programmes and apps in case you find that they are working better for you. I just strongly encourage you to move beyond e-mail, Facebook and other distracting social media:  they are not very well suited for an organized,  collaborative effort of preparing a good written memorandum.

All the best,

Marek

Moot Court Advocacy Series – Season III: ‘Teamwork’, Episode II: ‘Useful IT Tools’

My first moot court was an awesome adventure. But to be honest, I have one very bad memory… You know what it was? The never-ending flood of e-mails and other information from my teammates. I had to constantly cope with moot-related messages and files which all the time got mixed with my private communication, lost among different channels, misunderstood or overwritten. It was all very frustrating for the whole team struggling with the same problem. And the worst thing is – we could have avoided it by using better IT tools.

Despite the fact that nowadays we are more connected than ever before communication can become a real nuisance and an obstacle for effective teamwork. If you want your cooperation as a team to be smooth and efficient, it is crucial to agree on communication channels early on and stick to them.

At the same time, mooting is an intellectual sport. As in almost every discipline, the equipment that the players use matters. In this case, the equipment are programmes you decide to use for the purpose of the moot court. Unfortunately, many teams make a serious mistake at the very beginning by agreeing to use the channels they know and check regularly: their e-mail and Facebook. I strongly discourage you from using e-mail, Facebook groups or Messenger as your main platform for communication and sharing: these pieces of ‘equipment’ have proven highly inefficient for me and my teammates. Not only do they mix your moot related and private stuff – they simply lack the features you need to draft memorials together, gather research, discuss issues and keep track of your progress. Luckily, there is a wide range of free tools and programmes that perform much better.  Here comes my top five:

  1. MS Word – to draft

The reason why I mention this legal world’s workhorse might seems self-explanatory: it is probably the most widespread text editor in the world with plenty of features necessary for proper formatting of your memorandum. MS Word not only allows a skilled user to create a clear and structured memorandum, but its comments and track changes tools make reviewing process much easier. But the most important reason why I mention only one text editor is that you must as a team switch to just one programme. Using different, incompatible text editors will be a nightmare when you start reviewing and compiling, since some people might be unable or unwilling to use two editors at the same time. You can use online converters, of course, but they often corrupt files and formatting, causing unnecessary delays and unnecessary work unrelated to the merits of the competition.  If you want to avoid last-minute (and often irreparable) formatting issues half an hour before submission of the memorandum you should definitely use just one programme

  1. Slack – to talk

Slack is an online platform for teams which is supposed to structure and facilitate communication. And I have to admit – I absolutely love it! Since the first time I have used it I keep converting everyone I can to Slack. Why is it so awesome for moot court teams? There are several reasons. Firstly – it is free J Secondly, it works equally well on computers and smartphones. Thirdly, it has everything that e-mail, Messenger and other traditional tools lack. It allows to clearly define channels dedicated to specific tasks without losing the ‘big picture’ from sight, share files in a convenient way and easily go through conversations for thanks to its search tools. I remember that I was initially quite sceptical about it – who needs another app to monitor all the time? However, its usefulness bought me from the very first moment and I really cannot imagine coaching a moot court team without it.

If you would like to learn more about this programme and see it first-hand, you can visit its YouTube channel.

  1. Dropbox – to store and share files

Despite the fact that Slack lets you share files, you will for sure need a more organized online document library where you can store books and articles or exchange versions of the memorandum. Dropbox will be perfect – a free (in its basic version) online disc makes every file accessible whenever and wherever your team needs it without going through e-mails or carrying a computer around. It is very intuitive to use and thanks to it you can arrange your files neatly and search them with ease.

Alternatively, you can use Googledisc. However, it has two main drawback – not everyone has a Google account to use it and in my opinion it is far less convenient in terms files are displayed.

  1. Canva – to do graphics

You are not a Photoshop expert but need a poster or a cooperation offer for the purpose of the moot? Canva will definitely help!  This foolproof programme is fun to use and after some practise even a person without much experience or talent (like me) can create decent graphics by using it. As all the tools I have suggested so far it is free in its basic version and provides extensive guides for newbies.

  1. Cold Turkey – to fight distraction

It does not take a productivity guru to see that we work best if we can focus on our task. Unfortunately, getting things done in an undisrupted manner is becoming increasingly difficult. Procrastination and distractions caused by Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, YouTube and countless other websites and applications cost us hundreds of hours each week – and will surely eat away at the time you plan to dedicate to research or drafting. To prevent it, I recommend using Cold Turkey Blocker. This simple programme lets you cut yourself off the distracting websites or applications you might feel like using or checking when you are supposed to work. You just push a button and they get blocked for the amount of time you specify. And if you do not believe me that your performance is severely affected by these online distractions, install RescueTime first… This app measures the time you spend on different activities while contacted to the Internet. Believe me, you will be shocked when you find out what is the ratio of your “productive” time to “distracting” time! At least I was when I saw my statistics 😉

I hope these programmes will prove useful for you and help you team work efficiently. However, if you have used different IT tools and they worked for you, let me know in the comments what they are – everyone is probably curious to give them a try!

Best wishes,

Marek

Moot Court Advocacy Series – Season III: ‘Teamwork’, Episode I: ‘When You Plead’

Welcome to the first episode of season III of the Moot Court advocacy series! We have already covered many aspects of both written and oral advocacy. What is common for both of them is the need to cooperate effectively with your teammates – and this is an entirely different skill to acquire. So, are you ready to make the first step?

I remember it as if it was yesterday – a huge hall full of audience watching the final pleading of the moot court competition I participated in. That would be better for me than a football match, if only I were not pleading… The team we faced was excellent and unlike me and my co-counsel, spoke native English. As we anticipated, the counsel from the opposing team was found to be the best of us four in the final pleading. What we did not anticipate was that the arbitrators decided that our team was the winner. Why? With hindsight, I think it was exactly for that reason: instead of being two good advocates pleading next to each other me and my co-counsel formed a superior team together.

Moot courts are fun because you do not do them alone. As I have already mentioned with regard to the written memorials, teamwork is essential for successful performance (not to mention enjoying the moot experience!). Firstly, you prepare your written submissions as a team. Then, you plead in front of the judges as a team. Making sure you are always there for each other and learning how to show the judges your cooperation is indispensable for success.

Follow this advice if you wish to learn how to leverage teamwork to win!

  1. Learn how to work together

Mooting is often compared to a team sport. Just like in football or volleyball, you need to spend sufficient time training with each other to learn how to act as a team. For the purpose of an oral pleading you usually have to learn how to work with just one person – your co-counsel. The more time you send pleading with each other the better. Initially you will be only ale to react to what is going on in the courtroom and react to your co-counsels words. After more and more time spent pleading together you might literally start reading your co-counsels mind: opening the record in response to the panel’s questions even before he or she starts answering, giving unnoticeable signals that only you will understand, all in al – being a true team. And that is magic which can win you your moot.

  1. Always be there for each other

Remember what I mentioned at the very beginning about being two counsels just pleading next to each other and being a team? The most important thing you need to do to undergo this transformation is awareness that your co-counsel needs you during the entire pleading – and that you need him or her as well. You have to stay alert and focus on what is going on. Firstly, do the time keeping for your co-counsel (like I described it here). Secondly, be ready to open the record at the right page when needed. Thirdly, if you see you co-counsel is in trouble, try to help if you can – in most of the competitions it is perfectly fine to write down a short hint on the piece of paper that should be lying between you two. Fourthly, listen to your opponents’ pleadings and pay attention to everything that can help your co-counsel’s case – inconsistencies, misstatements, and errors in fact or in law. Fifthly, refill the glass, so that there is always enough water. Lastly, just be supportive! It is much easier to survive a stressful experience that a moot court pleading undoubtedly is when you have someone by your side.

  1. Behave appropriately

During a pleading the judges will be more focused on the counsel who is speaking, but it does not mean the other one can lie back. When it is not your turn to plead, you need to demonstrate that you are paying attention. Maintain eye contact with the tribunal and a calm face expression. Sit straight, just as if you were pleading  (if you are sitting closer to the tribunal, make sure you lean back a little to make sure all the arbitrators can see your co-counsel well). Do not tap, play with a pen or do anything distracting in general. Do the timekeeping and other activities that are supposed to help your co-counsel in a way which makes them impossible to notice. At the end of the day – it is your co-counsel who has the floor and if something diverts the judges attention from that person elsewhere, his or hers persuasiveness suffers.

In conclusion, no matter how obvious it might seem, being a good co-counsel proves to be quite challenging during the demanding and stressful of pleading. However, I am convinced that if you bear the aforementioned advice in mind you will not fail!

All the best,

Marek