For many years now, at the conclusion of each oral argument at CAAF, the judges have filed off the bench to shake hands with the counsel who just argued before them. The Chief Judge would typically explain that CAAF had borrowed this tradition from the Fourth Circuit. As an advocate before both CAAF and the Fourth Circuit, I had rather enjoyed this tradition. (That is about the only aspect of being an advocate before the Fourth Circuit that I found enjoyable.)
But every tradition — like grog and flogging on U.S. naval vessels or the Red Sox blowing every available opportunity to win a World Series — must come to an end. I have received a report that at this year’s CAAF orientation for new appellate counsel, court personnel indicated that the judges would no longer come down from the bench to greet counsel after oral arguments.