“You’re not going to go into the biggest game of your life and never practice,” says former Judge Henry W. Saad, who leads a new appellate consultation and mock oral arguments service at Farmington Hills-based Young and Associates, a law firm specializing in complex business litigation.
“I coached moot court teams in law school, where I taught for 40 years, and one of the things you teach students is that you always have a dry run when you’re dealing with a significant case,” Saad says.
Ninety percent of appellate advocacy or oral arguments these days consist of questions and answers from sitting judges, Saad explains. “Those judges are popping questions at you, and sometimes they’re tough.”
Saad says he relies on his experience as an appellate litigator, along with 24 years on the appellate bench, to conduct mock oral arguments that give lawyers insight into cases to improve their chances of success.
The service can run between $10,000 and $40,000, depending on how much research Saad is required to do and the complexity of the case.
“When you have a lot at stake for your client, either money or issues or both, a good lawyer will let the client know that it’s worth spending the money to do a dry run.”