Opening Arguments-logo

Opening Arguments

39 Favorites

More Information


United States








OA123: Cards Against Humanity (And Thomas), "Magic Words" & so much more!

In this fun, pre-Thanksgiving episode, we delve into a number of interesting topics. We begin with the popular (if much maligned by Thomas) card game "Cards Against Humanity" and their pitch to "save America." Are you surprised that it turns into a deep dive about eminent domain? (You shouldn't be.) After that, Andrew answers a listener question about whether, in fact, there are "magic words" in the law. How does this relate to the infamous lawyer dog? Listen and find out! Next, the guys...

Duration: 01:05:48

OA122: Moore is Less

Today's episode is, unfortunately, all about Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore. First, the guys discuss the unintentionally hilarious litigation hold letter filed by Moore's attorney. After that, Andrew and Thomas break down Alabama's election laws and discuss a variety of proposals being circulated for replacing Moore on the ballot. Next, the guys end with a discussion of whether the Senate can expel Moore from its ranks in the event that he wins. Finally, we end with an all-new "West Side...

Duration: 01:05:05

OA121: A Theory of Justice and the Social Contract (w/guest Aaron Rabi of Embrace the Void)

Today's episode takes a deep dive into social contract theory, and in particular, one of the most influential works of modern philosophy, John Rawls's A Theory of Justice, with guest philosopher Aaron Rabi, host of the terrific podcast Embrace The Void. After the discussion, we end with the answer to Thomas Takes the Bar Exam Question #49. Don't forget to following our Twitter feed (@Openargs) and like our Facebook Page so that you too can play along with #TTTBE! Recent Appearances None!...

Duration: 01:21:50

OA120: OA Shills For Monsanto! (w/guest Natalie Newell of "Science Moms")

Today's episode features Natalie Newell of the documentary "Science Moms" discussing GMO labeling and science awareness. First, we begin with an "Andrew Was Wrong" segment that updates some previous stories, including good news from the Jane Doe v. Wright decision discussed in Episode 117 and some clarification regarding the Manafort indictment from Episode 118. After that, Natalie Newell joins us for a lengthy discussion on GMOs in light of legislation passed in 2016 requiring uniform...

Duration: 01:08:19

OA119: Trump's Trans Ban (& More)

Today's episode takes a look at the recent decision in Doe v. Trump in which a federal judge issued a preliminary injunction blocking the majority of President Trump's ban on trans servicemembers in the armed forces. First, though, we begin with a discussion of Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963) and the requirement that prosecutors turn over exculpatory evidence to criminal defendants. In the "C" segment, we discuss two articles surrounding Trump's legal strategy in light of last week's...

Duration: 01:05:51

OA118: Indictment Monday & the View From Yodel Mountain

Today's rapid-response episode tackles -- of course -- the indictment of former Donald Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and his protege, Rick Gates, as well as the guilty plea entered by Trump campaign official George Papadopoulos. What does it all mean? Listen to a special full-length episode and find out! After our full discussion, we end with a timely new Thomas Takes the Bar Exam Question #48 about co-conspirator confessions. Remember that you can play along with #TTTBE by...

Duration: 01:04:50

OA117: Restricting Abortion Rights (& a Deep Dive into Res Judicata)

Today's episode takes a look at a tragic case currently unfolding of a pregnant young woman being detained for being in this country illegally and the Trump administration's efforts to deny her the right to an abortion. We begin with a quick procedural update on the 9th Circuit's ruling on EO-2 before taking a deep dive into the nuts and bolts behind Zarda v. Altitude Express, which we first discussed back in Episode 91. Thanks to some great questions from our listeners, Andrew and Thomas...

Duration: 01:04:59

OA116: Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump & The Russians - Election Law (w/guest Beth Kingsley)

Today's rapid-response episode tackles the recent news that Hillary Clinton's campaign and/or the DNC paid for the "Russian dossier" on Donald Trump. What does that mean in terms of U.S. election law? Listen and find out! We begin with a quick news update on various lawsuits against poker pro Phil Ivey, a story we covered way back in Episode 32 with guest Chris Kristofco. Next, we take a quick look at New York's use of the Uniform Bar Exam (UBE) and what this might mean for Thomas's...

Duration: 01:09:34

OA115: Colin Kaepernick's Grievance Against the NFL (Featuring Chris Kluwe)

Today's episode features former NFL punter, social justice advocate, and game designer Chris Kluwe, who sued his former NFL team for wrongful termination after he alleged that they cut him for standing up for marriage equality. Kluwe brings his unique behind-the-scenes knowledge to help us understand Colin Kaepernick's recently-filed grievance against the NFL, and gives us some bold predictions as to what's going to happen next. Even if you're not a football fan, we think you'll love this...

Duration: 01:14:49

OA114: Presidential Powers - Obamacare and the Travel Ban

Today's rapid-response episode begins with an update on the Allergan patent licensing scheme discussed in Episode 107. What does a federal judge think of this One Weird Trick to avoid certain legal proceedings? Listen and find out! Next, our main segment looks at Donald Trump's efforts to undermine Obamacare from the Oval Office. Does this violate the Constitution? Is there anything we can do about it? The answer might surprise you! After that, we continue the theme by looking at the two...

Duration: 01:10:21

OA 113: Our Cruel & Unusual Podcast Heads to International Waters

Today's episode is entirely Trump-free, and features a deep dive into the Cruel and Unusual Punishment Clause of the 8th Amendment. We begin, however, with a great listener question from Captain Patrick Dobbins, who wants to know the ins and outs of "international waters." Ask, and ye shall receive! After that, the guys break down the history of the 8th Amendment's prohibition on "cruel and unusual punishment" -- what does it mean, what kinds of punishments are prohibited, and when did it...

Duration: 01:03:21

OA112: Who's Afraid of the FCC?

Today's rapid-response episode begins with a discussion of a recent petition to the Supreme Court for certiorari filed in Evans v. Georgia Regional Hospital, and in particular, an amicus curiae brief submitted by 76 employers. How does this brief affect the future of gay rights in this country? Listen and find out! Next, our main segment looks at Donald Trump's recent threat to have the FCC "revoke NBC's license," and rewards you with a deep dive into what the FCC is and what it can and...

Duration: 01:09:47

OA111: Andrew Seidel Returns!

Today's episode marks the triumphant return of attorney Andrew Seidel of the Freedom From Religion Foundation to the show! We begin with an "Andrew Was Wrong" segment in which patron Kristen Hansen discusses how better to evaluate charities than the simple overhead metric the guys used in Episode 102. After that, Andrew Seidel joins us for two segments. First, the two Andrews discuss separation of church and state, including their recent disagreement as to whether FEMA funds will be spent...

Duration: 01:03:46

OA110: Gun Control After Las Vegas & Two Trips To Yodel Mountain

Today's rapid-response episode begins with a discussion of the tragedy in Las Vegas and whether we can do anything about it. Before you dig in, you might want to take a refresher on our two-part masterclass on the Second Amendment in Episode 21 (Part 1) and Episode 26 (Part 2). Then, we take our first of two separate trips to Yodel Mountain with the recent revelation that the Trump DOJ disregarded decades of advice before issuing an opinion memo that authorized the (blatantly illegal)...

Duration: 01:13:29

OA109: The GOP Tax Plan's Big Lie (& More!)

Today's episode hits on some timely news stories, including Trump's latest kerfuffle with the NFL. In the pre-show, we talk a little bit about the Graham-Cassidy Bill, which is hopefully defunct by the time you hear this. But can Trump save it via Executive Order? (No.) Then, we return for a lengthy "Andrews Were Wrong!" segment in which we issue a correction from Episode 107, explain the difference between Ronnie Lott and Leon Lett, and also tackle friend of the show Andrew Seidel's...

Duration: 01:00:59

OA109: The GOP Tax Plan's Big Lie

Today's Tuesday show continues to be "ripped from the headlines" -- at least, the headlines we think you'll still be talking about. We begin with the Jones Act. What is it? Why was it waived? And why was that good for Puerto Rico? In the main segment, the guys break down the GOP tax plan. Yes, it's an enormous, unfunded tax cut for the egregiously wealthy; you knew that. But what's the really big lie contained in it? Listen and find out! Next, we talk about what went down in the oral...

Duration: 01:05:04

OA107: Adnan Syed Obviously Did It (Also: You Can Learn About Patents!)

Today's super-sized show -- at long last! -- discusses season 1 of the Serial podcast. Even if you haven't heard Serial, we think you'll enjoy this application of the principles of reasonable doubt. We begin with a discussion of the recent settlement between Evergreen College and Bret Weinstein. Why does Andrew say this means the college valued Weinstein's alleged $3.8 million lawsuit at zero? In the main segment, Andrew goes through some of the issues behind the Serial and Undisclosed...

Duration: 01:26:24

OA 106: Elections Have Consequences! Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders & the DNC Lawsuit

In this episode, we discuss a number of political stories making the rounds. First, "Yodel Mountain" returns with a look at the recent CNN story showing that the FBI obtained a FISA court warrant for Paul Manafort. Does this mean Trump's complaints about Obama "wiretapping" his campaign are true? Listen and find out! In the main segment, Andrew walks us through the recent ruling dismissing out the class action claims against the Democratic National Committee ostensibly by Bernie Sanders...

Duration: 01:09:26

OA105: More Gay Wedding Cakes

Today's show discusses everyone's favorite non-issue: whether bigots who bake cakes for a living can discriminate against gays. We begin with a lightning round of questions taken from the Opening Arguments Facebook Community, which you should definitely join! In the main segment, we break down Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, which is currently pending before the U.S. Supreme Court. Next, we explain the recent pronouncement by Donald Trump regarding enforcement of...

Duration: 01:01:39

OA104: Equifax, Class Actions, Sham Marriages & Redistricting!

Our jam-packed "breaking news" episode covers some of the biggest stories trending at the moment, including the Equifax breach. First, Closed Arguments returns by tackling a proposal from friend of the show Eli Bosnick, who asks -- in light of Trump's repeal of DACA -- whether we can't just marry off the 800,000 program participants. We can't; listen and find out why. In the main segment, Andrew walks us through the Equifax data breach, the pending class-action lawsuits, and all of the key...

Duration: 01:19:00

See More