Sometimes around the holiday season, parents must use special skills to explain why Santa won’t be giving them that $500,000 drone or the Tesla they want. Are similar skills needed to say no to a judge in an oral argument when they say something with which you disagree? Here’s a discussion about that topic. How to Tell a Supreme Court Justice She’s Wrong, ALM Media, Dec. 4, 2018.
The article was prompted by Supreme Court argument in which Arnold & Porter’s Lisa Blatt told Justice Kagan she was “fundamentally wrong in several respects.” Justice Kagan asked “fundamentally wrong?” with the reply from Blatt, “Well, it’s factually wrong.”
My own take is that a “with due respect” preface is silly – there’s undue respect? “Respectfully” or “with all respect” seems a better way to go. But what’s wrong with “No, your honor, that’s not quite right because EXPLANATION” or “No, your honor, that assumption/conclusion [never the judge, just the conclusion] is incorrect