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Ray
New Orleans, Louisiana, Earth
Civil appellate lawyer
Interests: Blues
Recent Activity
Today I was honored to give a one-hour presentation at the Louisiana State Bar Association’s “Bridging the Gap Seminar,” a CLE program for newly sworn-in lawyers. For them and anyone else who may be interested, here are some PDFs you can download: My written materials My slide presentation A Writ... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Louisiana Civil Appeals
Can you use an extra $25? If so, read on. Several days ago, I posted about the LSBA’s Advanced Appellate Practice Seminar, scheduled for November 16 in New Orleans. The faculty include La. Supreme Court Justice James Genovese, eight judges from the Fourth and Fifth Circuit Courts of Appeal, and... Continue reading
Posted Oct 4, 2017 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
If you’re looking for high-quality appellate CLE, then consider the Louisiana State Bar Association’s Advanced Appellate Practice Seminar. It will be held on Thursday, November 16, 2017, at the Hyatt Centric French Quarter Hotel (800 Iberville), and will offer 6.25 hours of CLE credit, including 1 hour of professionalism. The... Continue reading
Posted Sep 22, 2017 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
If you’re reading this blog, then you’ll enjoy this news: E-filing is now available at the Louisiana Fourth Circuit. To register, follow this link. Of course, you’ll want to learn the court’s e-filing rules, which you can read and download by following this link. Continue reading
Posted Sep 20, 2017 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
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For an upcoming CLE presentation, I created this graph showing the workloads in the Louisiana courts of appeal in 2016, focusing on the number of appeals versus applications for supervisory writs. The raw numbers from the Louisiana Supreme Court’s 2016 Annual Report, pp. 22–23. Not surprisingly, the First Circuit is... Continue reading
Posted Sep 17, 2017 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
This morning, I was privileged to give a one-hour in-house CLE presentation at the Louisiana Fourth Circuit for the court’s law clerks and staff attorneys. It was based on an article I wrote a few years ago, Counting Each Shot: Techniques for Emphasis and De-emphasis. It was a clinical analysis... Continue reading
Posted Sep 11, 2017 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
Last month, the Louisiana Fourth Circuit dismissed three appeals (that I know of) because the judgment appealed from lacked decretal language and therefore was not a valid, final judgment: In Moulton v. Stewart Enterprises, Inc., 2017-0243 (La. App. 4 Cir. 8/3/17), the judgment stated that “the Defendants’ Motions for Summary... Continue reading
Posted Sep 3, 2017 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
Does plain language in briefwriting translate into winning? It probably does. At least there is a correlation between use of plain language and winning. That’s the result of an empirical study of appellate briefs by Prof. John Campbell of the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. His conclusion: We... Continue reading
Posted Aug 25, 2017 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
If you’re reading this, then here’s some CLE you’ll be interested in: the LSBA’s Advanced Appellate Practice seminar, to be held in New Orleans on November 16. The coordinator, Tom Flanagan, has put together a great faculty that includes nine appellate judges, including Justice James Genovese of the Louisiana Supreme... Continue reading
Posted Aug 24, 2017 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
The current issue of the Louisiana Bar Journal includes a short but worthwhile article for anyone practicing in the Louisiana Second Circuit. Under new Local Rule 15, all appeal briefs must include the following certification: I hereby verify that all attachments to this brief have previously been duly filed and/or... Continue reading
Posted Aug 11, 2017 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
Check out the U.S. Supreme Court’s new web site. For a summary of the added features, follow this link to the SCOTUS Blog. Continue reading
Posted Jul 30, 2017 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
Some questions have easy answers, such as this one: Q. Can I preserve an issue for review by the Louisiana Supreme Court by reserving my right to do so in a footnote in my writ application? A. No. You need to address the issue in your assignments of error and... Continue reading
Posted Jul 28, 2017 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
In my limited experience, that’s what usually happens when a litigant files the answer in the district court, and everyone treats the answer the same as if it were originally filed in the court of appeal. Still, if I were answering an appeal, I’d feel safer filing it in the court of appeal after the record is lodged.
1 reply
Here is a reminder of the importance of following court rules governing the form and content of briefs. Last Monday, Chief Judge Diane Wood of the U.S. Seventh Circuit issued a scathing order rejecting two appellees’ briefs—including one by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions—for failure to strictly comply with the... Continue reading
Posted Jul 12, 2017 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
My colleague Aaron McLeod has written a fine article with the appropriate title “How to Write So Judges Will Like You.” Aaron researched this article by interviewing over a dozen judges and has distilled their responses in the article. To read it in PDF, follow this link. Continue reading
Posted Jun 30, 2017 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
Louisiana has a unique procedure for an appellee to take a cross-appeal against the appellant. It’s called an answer to the appeal, and it’s authorized by La. Code Civ. P. art. 2133(A). Under art. 2133(A), the answer must be filed “not later than fifteen days after the return day or... Continue reading
Posted Jun 16, 2017 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
At a recent seminar in Texas, Judge Stephen Higginson (5th Circuit) offered six tips for appellate advocates. David Lat of Above the Law was there to write them down. To read them, follow this link; your time reading them will be well spent. Continue reading
Posted Jun 5, 2017 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
Can the applicant (after a writ grant) or an appellant in the Louisiana Supreme Court file a reply brief, responding to the brief of the respondent or appellee? The answer is “yes.” While LASC Rule VII makes no explicit provision for a reply brief, Rule VII § 11.1 allows parties... Continue reading
Posted Jun 1, 2017 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
Bryan Garner’s usage tip of the day includes this quotation by George Orwell: “[M]odern writing at its worst does not consist in picking out words for the sake of their meaning and inventing images in order to make the meaning clearer. It consists in gumming together long strips of words... Continue reading
Posted May 17, 2017 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
If you practice in the Louisiana Second Circuit, here is something you need to know if you don’t want your brief rejected by the clerk of court. Beginning on May 31, every brief filed in the Second Circuit must include the following certification concerning attachments: I hereby verify that all... Continue reading
Posted May 12, 2017 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
This morning, I gave my annual presentation on appellate practice at the Louisiana State Bar Association’s “Bridging the Gap” seminar for newly sworn-in lawyers. For those who attended, and for anyone else who may be interested, here are some of the things I used or referred to: My written materials... Continue reading
Posted May 10, 2017 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
Are negative themes in briefwriting more persuasive than positive themes? Often, they are. That’s the indication from a study described in a recent article by Prof. Kenneth Chestek. It’s available for free download on SSRN. Here’s the abstract: Cognitive psychologists have identified a phenomenon they call the “negativity bias,” in... Continue reading
Posted Apr 20, 2017 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
The latest edition of the Louisiana Bar Journal has an interesting interview with Justice Scott J. Crichton of the La. Supreme Court. Accompanying the interview is Justice Crichton’s own mini-memoir about his “brief, but compelling, experience” with the late Justice Antonin Scalia. Continue reading
Posted Apr 18, 2017 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
Last month, the First Circuit issued a pair of unpublished decisions, each of which dismissed an appeal for lack of a final, appealable judgment. The problem with both judgments: the amount awarded could not be determined from the judgment itself. As explained by the court, the amount awarded must be... Continue reading
Posted Apr 7, 2017 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
If you’re looking for high-quality appellate CLE, then consider registering for the DRI Appellate Advocacy Seminar, to be held in New Orleans at the Sheraton on May 11-12, 2017. The seminar will provide 9 hours of CLE. Last year’s version of this seminar was approved for specialized appellate CLE credit... Continue reading
Posted Mar 3, 2017 at Louisiana Civil Appeals