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Ray
New Orleans, Louisiana, Earth
Civil appellate lawyer
Interests: Blues
Recent Activity
Plaintiff sues Defendant. Defendant filed a reconventional demand against Plaintiff and a third-party demand against an insurer. The trial court renders summary judgment dismissing Plaintiff’s main demand but reserving Defendant’s reconventional demand and third-party demand. Is the judgment appealable? Yes, according to the Third Circuit in Hester v. Burns Builders,... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Louisiana Civil Appeals
I don't know. I guess it depends on whether you think the court of appeal is right and whether you want a ticket to the LASC. There may be other considerations too, such as whether there’s another issue in the appeal that may moot the constitutional question. Just too many possibilities for a one-size-fits-all answer.
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If you still need a few hours of CLE this year, consider signing up for the Louisiana State Bar Association’s 2017 Wrap Up seminar, to be held this Friday, December 15, at the Sheraton on Canal Street in New Orleans. Included in the multi-topic program will be a one-hour presentation... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Louisiana Civil Appeals
Let’s say a party disobeys an order compelling discovery. The discovering party moves for sanctions under La. Code Civ. P. art. 1471, and the trial court grants the motion, holding the recalcitrant party in contempt and striking its pleadings. Is the sanctions judgment final and appealable? According to the Fourth... Continue reading
Posted Nov 28, 2017 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
In at least five prior posts, I’ve written about appeals being dismissed because the judgment appealed from lacked decretal language: language stating the party in whose favor the judgment is rendered, the party against whom the judgment is rendered, and the relief being granted or denied.1 Earlier this month, the... Continue reading
Posted Nov 26, 2017 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
Here is one takeaway I got from last week’s LSBA Advanced Appellate Practice Seminar: The judges of the court of appeal prefer citation to their own courts’ cases over cases from other Louisiana circuits. So when citing a case for a legal proposition, try to find one from whichever circuit... Continue reading
Posted Nov 21, 2017 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
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Only nine days are left before the Louisiana State Bar Association’s Advanced Appellate Practice Seminar on November 16 in New Orleans. If you’re reading this post, then this seminar is for you. It’s been approved for 6.25 hours of specialized appellate CLE in Louisiana. The faculty includes Justice James Genovese... Continue reading
Posted Nov 7, 2017 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
Over at Above the Law, Mark Herrmann gives sound advice on answering questions during oral argument. The two best words to begin your answer: “yes” or “no.” (Not both; you have to pick one.) This wisdom is ancient. See Matthew 5:37. Continue reading
Posted Nov 6, 2017 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
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What are the odds that a Louisiana court of appeal will grant a pro se litigant’s application for a supervisory writ? Not bad, according to the Louisiana Supreme Court’s 2016 Annual Report. Overall, the writ-grant rate for pro se applications is 17%, which compares favorably with the 23% writ-grant rate... Continue reading
Posted Nov 5, 2017 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
Want to do appellate pro bono work? The U.S. Fifth Circuit is looking for you. Here’s the court’s description of its new pro bono program: The [Fifth Circuit] Pro Bono Program assists the Court by facilitating the appointment of pro bono counsel to represent pro se litigants. Pro Bono Panel... Continue reading
Posted Oct 24, 2017 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
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 Oct 18, 2017 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.
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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