American Academy of Appellate Lawyers Announces Recommendations for Courts Holding Remote Oral Argument, Developed by Task Force Led by Tueth Keeney’s Jim Layton

Oct 12, 2020

The American Academy of Appellate Lawyers has issued recommendations for lawyers arguing by remote video link (Zoom, Teams, Webex, etc.), prepared by the Academy’s Task Force on Remote Oral Argument. Tueth Keeney’s Jim Layton, a Fellow of the Academy, chairs the task force. The recommendations are available here https://www.appellateacademy.org/publications/Counsel_AAAL_Remote_Task_Force_Recommendations_for_Counsel_Final.pdf.

The recommendations emphasize that argument by video is a new form of argument””not just a different venue for the same thing. For example, arguing counsel must consider how the move to video changes the means of connecting with the judges on the virtual bench.

The recommendations identify critical questions faced by lawyers creating their own “studios,” including camera placement and lighting.

The recommendations were issued in connection with a September 16, 2020, continuing legal education program for the Academy, moderated by Jim Layton.

This is the second set of recommendations authored by the task force and issued by the Academy. The first consisted of recommendations for appellate courts using remote oral argument.


James Layton leads the firm’s Appellate practice group and is a member of the firm’s Commercial Litigation, Labor, and Education groups. He assists clients with analysis and presentation of complex legal issues in Missouri and federal courts, both trial and appellate. In addition to handling cases himself and with other attorneys at Tueth Keeney, Jim consults with clients on appellate strategy and assists other counsel in high-stakes, complex appeals.

Jim has briefed and argued cases before the U.S. Supreme Court and before all Missouri appellate courts””including nearly 100 cases before the Missouri Supreme Court. He has represented clients in U.S. district courts and in Missouri circuit courts from Jackson County to the City of St. Louis. He has extensive experience with government-related litigation and state taxation disputes. Jim is a fellow of the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers, a past president of the Bar Association of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, and a past chair of the American Bar Association’s Council of Appellate Lawyers. He is a frequent speaker in the areas of appellate practice and constitutional law, both state and federal.

Appellate Practice –  Tueth Keeney lawyers have briefed and argued hundreds of appeals, including appeals in all Missouri and Illinois state and federal appellate courts and in the U.S. Supreme Court. The Appellate Practice Group represents clients on a wide range of issues impacting businesses, individuals, government entities, and educational institutions. Tueth Keeney attorneys are also available to contribute their considerable experience (including more than 90 arguments before the Missouri Supreme Court) to appeals handled by others””strategizing, assisting with briefs, and preparing for oral argument.