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New Orleans, Louisiana, Earth
Civil appellate lawyer
Interests: Blues
Recent Activity
This morning, I gave my semi-annual presentation on appellate practice for the Louisiana State Bar Association’s Bridging the Gap seminar for new lawyers. For them and anyone else who may be interested, here are the bonus materials that I promised: A PDF cop of my slide presentation U.S. 7th Circuit’s... Continue reading
Posted May 9, 2018 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
If you’re looking for appellate CLE in New Orleans, then check out Setting Precedents, a two-day appellate CLE seminar to be held on May 31–June 1 at Loyola Law School. It offers 12.5 hours of CLE, and the organizers have applied to the Louisiana Board of Legal Specialization for accreditation... Continue reading
Posted May 5, 2018 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
After my recent post about putting only one space (not two) between sentences, a friend pointed out a recent article in Attention, Perception & Psychophysics. According to the article, the authors (Rebecca L. Johnson, Becky Bui, and Lindsay L. Schmitt) did a study about this subject. Here’s the abstract: The... Continue reading
Posted May 5, 2018 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
While on the subject of typography, here is an absolute rule, not subject to serious debate: Unless you’re banging out your briefs on an Underwood manual typewriter, put only one space—not two—between the end of one sentence and the first letter of the next sentence. On this point, the authorities... Continue reading
Posted Apr 27, 2018 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
Many brief-writers use fully justified text, so that the text lines up with both the left and right margins. I don’t. When I make the typography decisions, I use left-justified or left-aligned text, with a “ragged-right” margin. This is not a matter of personal preference. It’s a matter of readability.... Continue reading
Posted Apr 26, 2018 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
Under Fed. R. App. P. 38, a federal appellate court may award damages for a frivolous appeal. How bad does an appeal have to be to incur Rule 38 sanctions? The U.S. Fifth Circuit answered that question in depth in Coghlan v. Starkey, 852 F.2d 806 (5th Cir. 1988). In... Continue reading
Posted Apr 20, 2018 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
Twice a year, I speak about appellate practice at a CLE seminar for newly sworn-in lawyers. One thing I continually warn them against is using someone else’s brief or writ application as a model. There are two reasons for this advice: (1) The model may not follow current court rules.... Continue reading
Posted Apr 9, 2018 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
Let’s say two civil actions in federal court are consolidated according to Fed. R. Civ. P. 42(a). A final judgment is entered in one of the consolidated cases but not the other. Is that judgment appealable? Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court answered “yes.” See Hall v. Hall, No. 16-1150 (Mar.... Continue reading
Posted Mar 28, 2018 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
Let’s say a trial court renders judgment on exceptions that dismisses the plaintiff’s amended petition “in its entirety with prejudice at [plaintiff’s] cost.” Is the judgment final and appealable? In a recent decision, the La. First Circuit said, “Nope.” State v. Teva Pharmaceuticals Indus., Ltd., 2017-0448 (La. App. 1 Cir.... Continue reading
Posted Mar 7, 2018 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
Here’s a great article on brief-writing by Judge Raymond M. Kethledge of the U.S. Sixth Circuit. Continue reading
Posted Feb 26, 2018 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
Here’s an unusual sequence of events. Plaintiffs filed a petition to nullify a judgment. The defendant pleaded a peremptory exception of prescription. The trial court sustained the exception and dismissed the suit. The court of appeal reversed and remanded for further proceedings. On remand, at the conclusion of trial testimony,... Continue reading
Posted Feb 2, 2018 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
Aguillard was before the effective date of the most recent amendment of La. C.C.P. art. 2083 (effective January 1, 2006). Under the prior version of art. 2083, an interlocutory judgment that caused irreparable injury was immediately appealable. But Aguillard is still useful, as irreparable injury is an argument for the court of appeal to exercise its supervisory jurisdiction to decide the merits of a writ application.
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It’s been a while since I’ve updated the appellate blogroll on this page. So everyone, say hello to 600 Camp, an excellent blog covering civil litigation in the U.S. Fifth Circuit. Continue reading
Posted Jan 29, 2018 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
Here’s an interesting issue that I came across today. The Federal Arbitration Act includes a provision allowing an immediate appeal of an order refusing to enforce an arbitration clause. See 9 U.S.C. § 16(a)(1). But suppose that a case governed by the FAA is in a Louisiana state court. Under... Continue reading
Posted Jan 29, 2018 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
This book is next up on my reading list: Communicators-in-Chief by Julie Oseid, a law professor at the University of St. Thomas School of Law. In this book, Prof. Oseid examines the writing style and habits of five American presidents, focusing on one quality at which each excelled: Thomas Jefferson... Continue reading
Posted Jan 27, 2018 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
If you want or need high-quality appellate CLE, DRI has what you need—in Las Vegas. The DRI Appellate Advocacy Seminar will be held on March 14–15 at the Planet Hollywood Resort. It’s being held in conjunction with the DRI Trial Tactics Seminar, with a joint session being held on the... Continue reading
Posted Jan 24, 2018 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
Usually, an appellant taking a devolutive appeal does not have to post an appeal bond. See La. Code Civ. P. art. 2124(A). But there’s an exception to this rule: in a worker’s compensation case, an employer appealing an award of benefits must post a bond “guaranteeing that the employer will... Continue reading
Posted Dec 31, 2017 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
... when you cheat on the court’s typographic rules to circumvent the page limit. In this article for the Journal of the Missouri Bar, Professor Douglas Abrams catalogs cases where lawyers have gotten caught doing this and the penalties imposed on them. The lessons: Obey the court’s rules governing typography.... Continue reading
Posted Dec 22, 2017 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
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 Dec 14, 2017 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 Dec 12, 2017 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
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