Grawemeyer Colloquium Papers


During oral arguments, attorneys are given the chance to elaborate on their written briefs and answer questions from the judges deciding the case. Studying oral arguments can be a window into the power dynamics between judges and attorneys, and can shed light onto how factors like gender may affect judicial decision-making. While a growing body of research has examined gender dynamics in oral arguments in the United States Supreme Court, no existing studies have examined whether these findings hold up in the U.S. Court of Appeals, the second highest courts in the country. We collected data on two years of oral arguments from the 4th Circuit in order to test theories about gender and speech patterns, including interruptions and verbosity.