November 18, 2010, Philadelphia, PA — Today I was the first lawyer of the day to appear before an en banc panel of the Superior Court in Philadelphia. Imagine my surprise to be looking straight into a robotic high def camera. The argument was fun and exciting and I’d do it again in heartbeat. It only took 19 years before my first en banc argument. I hope I don’t have to wait another 19 for my second.
No decision yet, of course. I don’t expect a decision for several weeks or months. But the panel was lively and informed. Their questions reflected an understanding of the case and an interest in our position. I am cautiously optimistic for my client.
For me, personally, the experience was an unqualified success. The Court is housed in a building just behind Independence Hall and it was a short walk through historic grounds from my hotel to the Court. I arrived in Philadelphia yesterday afternoon, scoped out the grounds, made sure I knew my way to the Courthouse and the courtroom and went back to my room to prepare.
Of course, spending countless hours to prepare for a 15 minute argument doesn’t feel so great when you’re doing the prep work (and I’m sure my client won’t relish the cost) and I certainly wish I could have explored Philadelphia instead of holing up in my room with a room service cart and the volumes of a reproduced record, but there is an undeniable adrenaline rush knowing 9 smart, well-informed judges are going to fire questions at you about almost anything and you have to be prepared, no excuses.
If you’d like to see what happened, the entire matter will be broadcast on PCN and, I think, will also be available via streaming video on PCN’s website. More information on that to come.
For now, this Erie lawyer is happy to earn a living practicing law. It was a good day.