Georgia Law Review, Vol. 16, No. 4 (Summer 1982), pp. 853-860


Professor Geoffrey Hazard's lecture addresses appellate advocacy. That advocate's brief is best, he says, that, short of surrender, concedes most to the opposing party. We assume that Professor Hazard would scarcely have ventured out of New Haven to participate in the distinguished Sibley Lectureship merely to commend to the consideration of the audience an interesting but minor rhetorical ploy. Therefore we read his comments as surely implying more. We interpret his lecture as an invitation to rethink the nature of the courtroom event. The textual openings to our examination of fundamentals are found in various of Professor Hazard's comments--for instance, his diagnosis of "a larger fear of weakness in the context as a whole," and his recognition of advocates' arguments as "derivative from the court's functioni." Consideration of these and other comments has led us through a hermeneutical adventure to imagine a restatement of Professor Hazard's conclusion: That argument is best that is most performative of affection.