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New Orleans, Louisiana, Earth
Civil appellate lawyer
Interests: Blues
Recent Activity
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 7 days ago 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
Most of the civil cases decided by the Louisiana Supreme Court are heard under the court’s supervisory jurisdiction. This means that review by the LASC is discretionary. You invoke the court’s jurisdiction by filing a writ application, and you pray that your application is among the roughly 5% of applications... Continue reading
Posted Mar 2, 2017 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
On March 9, the good folks at Chaffe McCall are hosting a free hour of appellate CLE, followed by a networking reception. The program is Appellate Counsel at Trial: Protecting the Record and Putting Your Best Foot Forward, a webinar produced by the DRI Appellate Advocacy Committee. For details about... Continue reading
Posted Feb 23, 2017 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
As most of you know, the word limits for briefs filed in U.S. Courts of Appeals were recently reduced (e.g. from 14,000 words to 13,000 for opening briefs). Perhaps to offset the effect of that amendment on some cases, the U.S. Fifth Circuit is proposing an amendment to 5th Cir.... Continue reading
Posted Feb 15, 2017 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
Pardon me for going off topic today. But anyone who reads this blog is likely to be interested in yesterday’s decision by the U.S. Ninth Circuit in Washington v. Trump. So here’s a link to the decision. Continue reading
Posted Feb 10, 2017 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
Pardon me for going a little off-topic here. As a graduate of Loyola Law School’s evening division, I especially enjoyed this article by Jill Switzer at Above the Law. From my experience, everything she says about the determination and work ethic of night law students is true. It’s a tough... Continue reading
Posted Jan 25, 2017 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
The Louisiana Association of Defense Counsel’s January 2017 newsletter discusses two cases of interest to lawyers practicing in Louisiana’s appellate courts: In Nabors Offshore Corp. v. Caterpillar, Inc., 2016-0003 (La. App. 4 Cir. 11/30/16), the Fourth Circuit reminds us that a denial of a supervisory writ is not a decision... Continue reading
Posted Dec 30, 2016 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
Let’s say that the defendant in a civil action files a motion for summary judgment, and the trial court denies the motion. Should the defendant file a motion for new trial seeking reconsideration of the summary-judgment motion? The answer is probably “no.” One of two things can happen, and both... Continue reading
Posted Dec 29, 2016 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
Last Friday, the Louisiana Supreme Court granted certiorari in four civil cases. Here is a quick rundown of those cases: Huval v. State ex rel. Dept. of Public Safety & Corrections, 2016-CC-1857. This case presents a question of subject-matter jurisdiction. The two plaintiffs were terminated from their employment by the... Continue reading
Posted Dec 18, 2016 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
The latest issue of the Louisiana Bar Journal has an interesting interview with soon-to-be-retired Justice Jeanette Theriot Knoll. Beside talking about her life and career, she also provides a peek into the inner workings of the Louisiana Supreme Court and the Third Circuit Court of Appeal. For anyone who practices... Continue reading
Posted Dec 14, 2016 at Louisiana Civil Appeals