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Ray
New Orleans, Louisiana, Earth
Interests: especially walker percy and (lately) flannery o'connor., southern writers
Recent Activity
If you’re looking for high-quality appellate CLE, I have a couple of suggestions. The first is the DRI Appellate Advocacy Seminar, to be held in Chicago on July 18 and 19. I’ve been a member of the DRI Appellate Advocacy Committee since 1998 or so, and I’ve attended all but... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Louisiana Civil Appeals
Here is a new item to add to your supervisory-writ checklist. The Louisiana Second Circuit now requires writ applications to be accompanied by an intake form. The form is similar to the writ-application filing sheet required by the Louisiana Supreme Court and the writ intake form currently used by the... Continue reading
Posted Apr 10, 2014 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
Tomorrow I will be getting some high-quality CLE courtesy of Bryan Garner. His current road show is a triple feature: Advanced Legal Writing & Editing, The Redbook Seminar, and Making Your Case. Tomorrow’s stop will be in New Orleans at the Hotel Intercontinental. If you see me there, please say... Continue reading
Posted Mar 31, 2014 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
Under Uniform Rule 4-3, a return date for a supervisory-writ application should not be more than 30 days after notice of judgment as provided by La. Code Civ. P. art. 1914. But what event constitutes notice of judgment? Consider this sequence of events in a recent case, Rain CII Carbon,... Continue reading
Posted Mar 27, 2014 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
If you write U.S. Fifth Circuit briefs, you need to read this explanation of 5th Cir. R. 28.2.2. Here's the skinny version: The required form for your record citations depends on the form of the record: one rule for citing an electronic record, another for citing a paper record. Continue reading
Posted Mar 18, 2014 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
How do you prepare for appellate oral argument? Over at the Lawyerist, Sam Glover has an interesting answer to that question. Continue reading
Posted Mar 4, 2014 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
When I first started practicing law in 1990, it seemed that every paper filed in any court began with the verbiage “Now into court, through undersigned counsel, comes ....” If your pleadings, motions, and briefs begin this way, stop it. If you write anything to be filed in any court,... Continue reading
Posted Feb 24, 2014 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
A recent decision by the U.S. Fifth Circuit holds that an appellee who failed to cross-appeal an adverse finding by the jury cannot, on remand, attempt to relitigate the same issue. ART Midwest Inc. v. Atlantic Ltd. Partnership XII, No. 11-11140 (5th Cir. Feb. 3, 2014). In a nutshell, this... Continue reading
Posted Feb 18, 2014 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
For the second consecutive day, the Louisiana Second Circuit is closed because of hazardous road conditions caused by icy weather. Any deadlines today (Feb. 12) are extended for one day. Click here to download a copy of today’s order. Continue reading
Posted Feb 12, 2014 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
There must be a virus going around. Recently the Louisiana Supreme Court and the First, Third, and Fifth Circuits have published warnings about malicious e-mails purporting to come from those courts. Apparently the spammers don’t know much about the business conducted in appellate courts—the e-mail purports to be a “pre-trial... Continue reading
Posted Feb 10, 2014 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
Do you have a deadline tomorrow, Feb. 11, in the Louisiana Second Circuit? If so, you’ll want to check out this order. Because of expected icy conditions, the court will be closed tomorrow. Meaning that if you had a deadline of Feb. 11, you just got a one-day extension. Continue reading
Posted Feb 10, 2014 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
Not all judgments can be appealed. The general rule is that any appeal must await the final judgment in the case. There are exceptions for some partial final judgments and for certain kinds of interlocutory judgments. Last week, the Louisiana Fourth Circuit issued an opinion dismissing an appeal, and in... Continue reading
Posted Feb 10, 2014 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
There are four topics it’s best not to raise in polite discussion with an appellate lawyer: religion, politics, fully-justified versus ragged-right text, and citations in footnotes. Thirteen years ago, the last of these controversial topics generated some heat in the La. Third Circuit, in Ledet v. Seasafe, Inc. Today, people... Continue reading
Posted Feb 7, 2014 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
Under the recently revised rules governing briefs in Louisiana courts of appeal, does the cover page count against the page limit? Apparently in the First Circuit, the answer is yes. At least, that is the interpretation of First Circuit Clerk’s office, as expressed in its checklists for the appellant’s and... Continue reading
Posted Feb 4, 2014 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
Today the Louisiana Second Circuit promulgated Local Rule 12, governing the content of the appellee’s brief. You can view the newly adopted rule on the court’s web site, on the local-rules page, and you can download a copy of the order promulgating the new rule by clicking here. Local Rule... Continue reading
Posted Feb 3, 2014 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
Once a party perfects an appeal, jurisdiction over all matters reviewable under the appeal is transferred from the trial court to the court of appeal. La. Code Civ. P. art. 2088(A). Once this happens, the trial court has no jurisdiction to rescind its order of appeal. That proposition seems obvious,... Continue reading
Posted Jan 31, 2014 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
When is the best time to get an appellate lawyer involved in a case? If it’s a big-money case, the sooner the better—preferably before filing the first pleading. That is the view expressed by Paul G. Ulrich in Working With Appellate Counsel: Increase Your Clients’ Litigation and Appellate Success, published... Continue reading
Posted Jan 30, 2014 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
As mentioned in this prior post, most of the U.S. Fifth Circuit judges are now reading briefs on an iPads. We brief-writers need to consider this reality when making decisions on the brief’s format. For some practical tips on that subject, read this article at the Columbia Business Law Review. Continue reading
Posted Jan 23, 2014 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
If you’d like to improve your writing, editing, and advocacy skills, then here is a worthwhile CLE seminar for you: A day with Bryan A. Garner, featuring these classes: Advanced Legal Writing & Editing: 8:30 a.m. – noon The Redbook: Expert Legal Editing: 1:00 –2:30 p.m. Making Your Case: Persuading... Continue reading
Posted Jan 22, 2014 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
Let’s say you lost in federal court and are thinking about appealing to the U.S. Fifth Circuit. What are the chances of reversal? The answer is on this handy statistical snapshot prepared by the Fifth Circuit clerk's office. Here are the reversal rates for various categories of cases for the... Continue reading
Posted Jan 21, 2014 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
Here is a short piece by Jarod Bona offering Three Reasons to Hire an Appellate Lawyer. I would add a fourth reason to Jarod’s list: an appellate lawyer knows the appellate court’s rules, and when practicing in the appellate court, is in familiar territory. This means that the appellate lawyer... Continue reading
Posted Jan 21, 2014 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
Today is a good day to visit American Rhetoric, which has a page devoted to Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I have a dream” speech, including both a video and the text of the speech. Besides being historic and inspirational, the speech is a fine example of rhetoric — in this... Continue reading
Posted Jan 20, 2014 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
Here is a valuable lesson for anyone handling appeals in the federal system: A judgment on the merits is a final, appealable judgment under 28 U.S.C. § 1291 even if the award or amount of attorney’s fees is yet to be determined. This rule applies regardless of whether the right... Continue reading
Posted Jan 15, 2014 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
Until January 1 of this year, Uniform Rule 2-12.4 required the appellant’s brief to include “a concise statement of the case,” which most lawyers used to describe both the procedural history and the facts. Effective this year, Rule 2-12.4(A) requires the statement of the case to be separate from the... Continue reading
Posted Jan 10, 2014 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
As we say goodbye to 2013 and hello to 2014, let’s be reminded that significant amendments to Louisiana’s briefing rules are becoming effective. So here’s a suggestion about those old briefs that you use as models or templates for brief-writing: throw them away, because starting January 1, 2014, they will... Continue reading
Posted Dec 31, 2013 at Louisiana Civil Appeals