Sunday, May 11, 2008

Quinn on Bilski (and on Duffy)

Gene Quinn, in talking about the Bilski arguments on May 8, discussed the performance of Professor John Duffy:

Professor John Duffy of the George Washington University Law School argued orally on behalf of Regulatory Datacorp, Inc., one of the many amici in the case. All I can say about Professor Duffy's performance was that it was extremely poor. Prior to seeing the light and leaving the academic world I spent a lot of time teaching oral advocacy and moot court, coaching a number of national winning teams, and if any of my students had ever performed like that I would have been embarassed beyond belief. Repeatedly the judges asked Professor Duffy questions and Professor Duffy simply refused to answer the questions asked. Judges, Michel, Bryson, Rader, Moore and others had to asks their rather straight forward questions over and over and over again, and Professor Duffy simply never answered the questions. At one point Judge Rader said "I am still waiting to hear an answer to the questions Judge Bryson asked and I would really like an answer." Rather than answer any of the questions asked, for 10 minutes Professor Duffy merely lectured the Court that they should act "cautiously" and "follow the Supreme Court precedents." This became so repetetive that Judge Michel even took to asking questions prefacing the questions "Lets assume that we do act cautiously, and we do follow the Supreme Court, what would you suggest we do?"

One recalls that Duffy is now an advisor to candidate McCain. One also recalls that Duffy was savaged in a law review article by Judge Plager.

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