This HOWT post weighs proposition, the side that gets the most questions will probably lose.
Arguing an appeal is a rare thing for me, but in the trial courts usually the judge if he or she has read the papers or the cases is going to ask somebody, doesn't this fact or this case mean that you lose?
And, sometimes the answer saves the day, but more often it doesn't. The worst situation is when the court stops asking questions, because they've made up their mind and are no longer interested.
Unfortunately, in state court, where the judges have larger dockets and smaller staffs, the questions are generally less incisive.