[I quote] If you’re a briefwriter who, for
whatever reason, rarely gets the opportunity to present oral argument,
take heart in this quotation by a Fifth Circuit legend:
argument, as such, is rarely, if ever, so essential to elemental
fairness as to orbit to a constitutional apogee. Indeed, the practice
of Courts of disposing of cases in a variety of situations on the
papers, reflects the experience of mature judges that oral argument in
many, many cases adds nothing to the process of enlightenment.
Groendyke Transport, Inc. v. Davis, 406 F.2d 1158, 1162 (5th Cir. 1969) (Brown, J.).
If Judge Brown is correct, a properly written brief leaves no question to be asked, no necessity to clarify a point, and no point of the opponent's brief left unanswered or unexplained. So I would not take Judge Brown's point to its literal conclusion. The implied proposition however is perfectly valid.
tip: the (new) legal writer blog.