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Ray
New Orleans, Louisiana, Earth
Civil appellate lawyer
Interests: Blues
Recent Activity
If you will need specialized appellate CLE next year, then mark your calendars. The 2017 DRI Appellate Advocacy Seminar will be held in New Orleans on May 11–12. In case the link doesn’t work for you, here’s the blurb: This program features presentations on the impact of various technological advances... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Louisiana Civil Appeals
Would you believe that copying someone else’s brief could be a copyright infringement? Believe it. In Newegg Inc. v. Ezra Sutton, P.A., 120 U.S.P.Q.2d 1111, 2016 BL 299780 (C.D. Cal. Sept. 13, 2016), the draft brief’s author sued the copying lawyer for copyright infringement. The court granted the author a... Continue reading
Posted Nov 30, 2016 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
Some briefwriting conventions are downright silly. One of the silliest is the compulsion to parenthetically define shorthand names for all persons and companies mentioned in a brief. For example, when the only Flintstone mentioned in a brief is Fred, you’ll see the first reference to him as “Fred Flintstone (‘Flintstone’).”... Continue reading
Posted Nov 22, 2016 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
Here’s a tip for U.S. Supreme Court practice that should be obvious: if the Court grants certiorari, brief the issue raised in your cert. petition. If you brief a different issue, your writ will be dismissed as improvidently granted. That’s what happened yesterday in Visa, Inc. v. Osborn, c/w Visa,... Continue reading
Posted Nov 18, 2016 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
The other day, while wandering around the U.S. Fifth Circuit’s web site, I came across this statistical snapshot for July 1, 2015 – June 30, 2016. Here are some of the numbers of interest to civil practitioners: Reversal rate in private civil cases (U.S. not a party): 16.6% Petitions for... Continue reading
Posted Nov 11, 2016 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
As many of you probably know, several amendments to the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure are scheduled to kick in on December 1. You can read the amendments, as transmitted to Congress by the Supreme Court by following this link. Here is a skinny on the amendments most likely to... Continue reading
Posted Nov 2, 2016 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
Today the Louisiana Supreme Court released its oral-argument docket for December. Eight cases are scheduled for oral argument. These include three civil cases, four criminal cases, and one lawyer-disciplinary case. The docket is a reminder of why the Court often denies meritorious writ applications. Simply put, the Court has only... Continue reading
Posted Oct 21, 2016 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
This morning I gave my semi-annual CLE presentation on appellate practice for the Louisiana State Bar Association’s “Bridging the Gap” seminar, a program designed for newly minted lawyers. For those attending, and for anyone else who may be interested, here is the stuff I promised to upload: My written materials... Continue reading
Posted Oct 19, 2016 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
I’ve just learned that the next DRI Appellate Advocacy Seminar will be held in New Orleans on May 11-12, 2017. Here is a blurb by program coordinator Keith Whitson about what’s planned: The 2017 seminar promises to be very special. This program features presentations on the impact of various technological... Continue reading
Posted Oct 14, 2016 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
John Balestriere has an interesting post at Above the Law on writing persuasively for the reader who knows far less about your case than you do—that is, every judge, judicial law clerk, and court staff attorney who reads your brief. He reminds us that those readers have many more cases... Continue reading
Posted Oct 14, 2016 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
In our last post, we looked at instances in which the court of appeal considered converting an appeal of an unappealable judgment into an application for a supervisory writ. In this post, we’ll focus on two cases presenting this issue, plus a twist: in both cases, the would-be appellant had... Continue reading
Posted Oct 6, 2016 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
When litigants attempt to appeal a non-appealable judgment, the question rises whether the court of appeal can review the trial court’s judgment under its supervisory jurisdiction. In at least four of the five circuits, the answer is “maybe,” if the motion for appeal was filed within the 30-day period to... Continue reading
Posted Sep 24, 2016 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
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On a personal note, I'm happy to announce that I passed the exam for certification in appellate practice by the Louisiana Board of Legal Specialization. (What a relief!) Now that I’m over that hump, I hope to return to more regular posting here. Continue reading
Posted Sep 22, 2016 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
At Above the Law, inside counsel Mark Herrmann offers 5 tips for briefwriters who are already good at what they do. To read his tips, follow this link. Continue reading
Posted Sep 12, 2016 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
Let me add that there’s nothing preventing the relator from moving for an extension because of an incomplete transcript.
1 reply
Tomorrow is a big day for Louisiana appellate lawyers: it’s exam day for everyone seeking certification in appellate practice by the Louisiana Board of Legal Specialization. They said to bring a black pen; I’ll be bringing a half dozen. Good luck to everyone taking the exam. May we all pass! Continue reading
Posted Aug 5, 2016 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
Ken Adams has a short lesson on spotting and eliminating syntactic ambiguity. “What is this ‘syntactic ambiguity’?” you ask. It’s what happens when the structure of a sentence makes the sentence subject to more than one interpretation. It can be... Continue reading
Posted Aug 5, 2016 at the (new) legal writer
Is a cat A “who” or a “that”? Continue reading
Posted Aug 4, 2016 at the (new) legal writer
Here’s a procedural oddity to start your weekend. Ordinarily, you cannot appeal a denial of summary judgment, not even if the trial court designates it as final under La. Code Civ. P. art. 1915(B). But let’s suppose that the parties file cross-motions for partial summary judgment on a particular issue.... Continue reading
Posted Jul 8, 2016 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
If you’re a Louisiana lawyer looking for appellate CLE, read on. The Louisiana State Bar Association is holding its Appellate Practice Seminar on August 26 in New Orleans. The seminar is co-sponsored by the LSBA’s Appellate Section and its Civil Law and Litigation Section. To view the program schedule and... Continue reading
Posted Jul 5, 2016 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
Last week, the Louisiana Third Circuit released an interesting opinion about a fine point of appellate procedure, State in the Interest of B.R.C., 16-273 (La. App. 3 Cir. 5/25/16). Here’s the set-up. The appeal was brought under Children’s Code art. 332, under which the appeal delay is 15 days from... Continue reading
Posted Jun 2, 2016 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
Our friends at Legal Writing Prof Blog report some sad news: the death of Richard Wydick. He was a renowned law professor and author. His classic, Plain English for Lawyers, was, for many of us, our introduction to good legal... Continue reading
Posted May 17, 2016 at the (new) legal writer
This morning I was privileged to present a one-hour session on appellate practice for the Louisiana state Bar Association’s Bridging the Gap seminar, a program designed for newly sworn-in lawyers. For those who attended, and anyone else who may be interested, here are PDF copies of my presentation and my... Continue reading
Posted May 11, 2016 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
In an appeal, the court reporter can (and often does) request an extension of the return date if the reporter needs more time to complete the transcript. See La. Code Civ. P. art. 2127.2. But what if the transcript is needed for a supervisory-writ application, and the court reporter is... Continue reading
Posted Apr 26, 2016 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
The 2015 edition of the Louisiana Supreme Court’s Annual Report is available on the court’s web site. It is full of statistics useful to appellate lawyers, such as the writ-grant rates in each Louisiana appellate court and numbers of rehearing applications filed and granted. I recommend that you download a... Continue reading
Posted Apr 14, 2016 at Louisiana Civil Appeals