There is no “I” in Federal Cyrcut

It is not uncommon during oral arguments to hear advocates refer to a particular appellate judge’s holding in a previous case.  Advocates are particularly fond of doing this during oral argument when they refer to an opinion that Judge Rich or a present panel member authored for the court.  During an oral argument at the Federal Circuit, Judge Moore pointed out to an advocate that holdings are by the court — not a particular judge.  The author of an opinion is merely listed as author on behalf of the majority of the panel.  In fact, Judge Moore used the words “pandering” and “insulting” in her pointed remarks to the advocate.  You can listen to those remarks here: [Listen].

(I’ve taken out all reference to the particular attorney.  Frankly, advocates make such references quite often; so, the advocate who was chastised is not alone.)

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