A View from the Bench – Episode 2 – Appellate Advocacy with (Ret.) Judge Andre Davis

January 23, 2024

Washington, D.C. partner George Hazel and Houston partner Gregg Costa, both former federal judges, are joined by retired Judge Andre Davis, a former federal prosecutor, state judge, and federal judge who left the bench in 2017 to serve as Baltimore’s City Solicitor for almost three years. Judge Davis describes how his experience as a trial judge – which he calls the “best job in America” – informed his time as a federal appellate judge; and all three former judges discuss issues such as the maximum number of motions to raise on appeal and how many of those to include in oral arguments, the importance of well-written, persuasive briefs, and the value of oral arguments, which are often a judge’s first glimpse into their colleagues’ views. Judge Davis also shares what motivated his transition from the bench to Baltimore City Solicitor, which included the opportunity to mentor inexperienced lawyers, hire a new police commissioner, and make much-needed police reforms.

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Gregg Costa is co-chair of the firm’s Trials Practice Group.  Gregg offers clients a unique perspective as a former federal trial and appellate judge. His broad experience—having handled complex civil and criminal matters, at trial and on appeal, as advocate and judge—allows him to offer invaluable skills and strategic insights for both trials and investigations.

George Hazel is a partner in the Washington office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher and a member of the firm’s Litigation and White Collar Defense and Investigations Practice Groups.  A former federal trial judge and criminal prosecutor, Mr. Hazel brings a broad range of trial experience, having presided over approximately 50 jury trials in federal court and handled 20 jury trials and 30 bench trials as an attorney in federal and state court.  Since his return to private practice, Lawdragon  has named him one of the “500 Leading Global Litigators” of 2024.