Despite the fact that a considerable number of lawyers are often called upon to appear at committee hearings to argue the merits or demerits of bills affecting the interests of their clients,' there are many of them — particularly those who have not ventured beyond the pale of the courtroom to whom the legislative hearing process remains somewhat of a mystery. And when they are confronted with a situation that requires an appearance at a legislative hearing, they are at a loss to know what to expect, let alone what to do. Take the case of the typical courtroom lawyer, untrained and inexperienced in legislative lawmaking, who is confronted with a situation which requires him-for the first time — to plead his client's case before a standing committee of a state legislature. He would want to know several things before preparing for battle on unfamiliar terrain. How much weight, for example, does a committee recommendation concerning a bill carry with the full legislative body? Are the committee members really concerned with coming to grips with the facts that are relevant to a policy issue prior to making their recommendations to the full house? What is the nature of the fact-finding and fact-checking machinery available to committees at the hearing stage? How should he plead his case-with rigorously adduced evidence, with tightly reasoned arguments?
Julius Cohen and Reginald A. H. Robson,
The Lawyer and the Legislative Hearing Process,
33 Neb. L. Rev. 523
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