Listen to Them Argue!

June 17, 2010



Last Friday, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the exclusion of certain evidence in the federal perjury case against Barry Bonds.  After reading the linked story, I decided to see what Westlaw had on the decision.  I found the opinion (at 2010 WL 2331456) by searching for TI(“UNITED STATES” & BARRY /2 BONDS) in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit Cases (CTA9) database.

Curious to see what else was available, I scrolled to the bottom of the opinion, where links to briefs and to the case’s docket are usually located.  Those familiar links were there, but something else caught my eye: a link to the oral argument transcript.  In addition to the trial transcripts mentioned by Susan in this post, Westlaw contains a number of oral argument transcripts, some of which include audio and/or video of the arguments.  We are in luck here, as clicking the link to the transcript will give you an opportunity to not only read the transcript, but listen to the arguments as well.

Of course, the oral argument transcripts may also be searched.  For example, if you want to find out whether a certain judge is tough on attorneys arguing before him or her, or find arguments made by a specific attorney, the transcript databases (e.g., CTA9-ORALARG for Ninth Circuit Oral Argument Transcripts) will allow you to search by a particular judge or attorney.  You can then read and/or watch and/or listen to your results.