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New Orleans, Louisiana, Earth
Civil appellate lawyer
Interests: Blues
Recent Activity
Let’s say your client didn’t get a complete win in the trial court, but does not want to appeal unless the other side appeals. The other side appeals. Should you cross-appeal? Or should you just answer the other side’s appeal? Non-Louisiana practitioners may be asking, “What is this answer to... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Louisiana Civil Appeals
Let’s say you represent an appellee, and you know of a better argument to support the trial court’s judgment than the one the trial court relied on. Can you raise that argument in support of the trial court’s judgment? In both Louisiana and federal courts, the answer is “yes”—as long... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Louisiana Civil Appeals
Effective January 1, 2016, Act No. 422 of the latest Louisiana legislative session is going to make substantial changes to Louisiana’s summary-judgment procedure. If you practice civil litigation in Louisiana, you must familiarize yourself with these amendments. Appellate practitioners will be especially interested in new art. 966(H), which requires an... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Louisiana Civil Appeals
On my other blog, I have a post today about two articles on paragraph building. They’re by Stephen V. Armstrong and Timothy P. Terrell, authors of Thinking Like a Writer: A Lawyer’s Guide to Effective Writing and Editing. That book costs $49. The two articles are free. Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Louisiana Civil Appeals
Here are links to two articles by Stephen V. Armstrong and Timothy P. Terrell on “the art and architecture of paragraphs,” published in the two most recent issues of Perspectives: Part I: Focus Part II: Flow Whether you’re a novice... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at the (new) legal writer
If you will be looking for high-quality appellate CLE in 2016—and if you don’t mind catching a flight out of Louisiana the day after Mardi Gras—then save the dates of February 11–12, 2016. That’s when DRI will hold its 2016 Appellate Seminar in Scottsdale, Arizona. The official program has not... Continue reading
Posted Aug 26, 2015 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
If you’re looking for CLE focused on appellate advocacy, you will have three programs to choose from this fall: On October 5–6, the Bar Association of the Fifth Federal Circuit is holding its annual Appellate Advocacy Seminar in New Orleans. To view the program and to register on line, follow... Continue reading
Posted Aug 13, 2015 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
What’s the difference between a hyphen, an en-dash, and an em-dash? And when should each be used? Mary Norris, a.k.a. the Comma Queen, answers these questions. Continue reading
Posted Aug 5, 2015 at the (new) legal writer
A brief can help the judicial reader. Or it can be a big, stinking — well, Mark Herrman explains it better than I can. Continue reading
Posted Jul 13, 2015 at the (new) legal writer
A recent writ decision by the Louisiana First Circuit provides a valuable lesson on timeliness. As most of you know, a party wishing to apply to the court of appeal for a supervisory writ must first file, in the trial court, a notice of intent to seek a supervisory writ... Continue reading
Posted Jul 9, 2015 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
Today the Louisiana Supreme Court issued a decision in Costanza v. Caldwell, a case involving same-sex marriage that has managed to fly under the radar of main-stream media. Since my firm represented an amicus in the case, I won’t comment on the decision; instead I’ll just report the facts. The... Continue reading
Posted Jul 7, 2015 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
Louis LaCour, chair of the Louisiana State Bar Association’s appellate section reports on an important vote yesterday by the LSBA House of Delegates: Everyone: I’m please to report that the Louisiana House of Delegates considered and approved, by a narrow margin, the creation of a new specialty in Appellate Practice... Continue reading
Posted Jun 12, 2015 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
Megan Boyd has a good post at Lady (Legal Writer) on the use of forms in legal writing. She does not ban them, but she does offer some wise cautionary advice on using them. I am not a fan of... Continue reading
Posted Jun 9, 2015 at the (new) legal writer
Does your draft brief exceed the court’s page limit? Before asking the court for extra pages, try these tips by Mark Herrmann for getting the brief under the page limit. Continue reading
Posted Jun 1, 2015 at the (new) legal writer
The New Orleans Bar Association is offering some lunchtime CLE in June with two appellate judges. On June 17, Judge Stephen Higginson will give a one-hour presentation on practice and procedure at the U.S. Fifth Circuit. On June 24, Judge Terri Love will give a similar presentation on practice and... Continue reading
Posted May 27, 2015 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
This morning I gave a presentation on appellate practice at the Louisiana State Bar Association’s “Bridging the Gap¨ seminar for newly admitted lawyers. For those who are interested, here are links to my written materials and my my presentation. And to find those bonus materials I talked about, follow this... Continue reading
Posted May 5, 2015 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
Theoretically, Louisiana is a civil-law jurisdiction. This means that our primary sources of law are legislation and custom. Theoretically, it also means that we don’t recognize stare decisis: the idea that an appellate decision creates binding law for the appellate court and all lower courts under its jurisdiction. But, as... Continue reading
Posted Apr 22, 2015 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
When trial results in an adverse final judgment, a party may move for new trial under La. Code Civ. P. arts. 1971 et seq. Often, the arguments raised in a motion for JNOV or new trial can be the same as those raised in an appeal. This raises two questions.... Continue reading
Posted Apr 10, 2015 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
Code of Civil Procedure art. 1814 authorizes a trial court to grant an additur or remittur if the court believes that the verdict is so excessive or inadequate that a new trial should be granted for that reason alone. In such cases, the trial court must give the party adversely... Continue reading
Posted Apr 9, 2015 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
This tip for bench trials in Louisiana is a no-brainer: If you lose, file a timely request for the trial court’s findings of fact and reasons for judgment. “Timely” means within 10 days after mailing of the notice of final judgment. See La. Code Civ. P. art. 1917(A). In tort... Continue reading
Posted Apr 8, 2015 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
How does one preserve for appellate review an inconsistency in the jury’s verdict? If you spot the inconsistency before the jury is discharged, raise it immediately so that the trial judge can send the jury back for further deliberations. If you don’t spot the inconsistency until after the jury is... Continue reading
Posted Apr 7, 2015 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
For practicing lawyers, the purpose of writing articles is to develop business. By writing authoritatively, you can establish your knowledge of the subject you’re writing on. And with any luck, your article will be read by someone in a position... Continue reading
Posted Apr 6, 2015 at the (new) legal writer
The way to preserve objections to jury instructions in Louisiana courts is spelled out in La. Code Civ. P. art. 1793. Article 1793(A) allows the parties to file written requests for jury instructions, and art. 1793(B) requires the judge to inform the parties of the instructions it will give (including... Continue reading
Posted Apr 6, 2015 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
In our last post, we looked at preserving erroneous evidentiary rulings for appellate review. We will now turn to other errors that may occur during a trial. The default rule for preserving an error for review is spelled out in La. Code Civ. P. art. 1635: “For all purposes it... Continue reading
Posted Apr 2, 2015 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
The good folks at the OED debunk 7 grammar myths you may have learned in school. Continue reading
Posted Apr 1, 2015 at the (new) legal writer