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Ray
New Orleans, Louisiana, Earth
Civil appellate lawyer
Interests: Blues
Recent Activity
The U.S. Supreme Court has issued a set of guidelines governing amicus briefs filed in that court, supplementing SCOTUS Rules 33.1, 34, and 37. To download a copy, follow this link. Continue reading
Posted Oct 18, 2019 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
This morning I gave a one-hour presentation on appellate practice at the Louisiana Bar Association’s Bridging the Gap seminar for new lawyers. For them and anyone else who may be interested, here are some links to downloadable PDFs: Slide presentation Written materials During the presentation, I talked about over-reliance on... Continue reading
Posted Oct 17, 2019 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
If you’re new to the practice of law (or know someone who is), then you may be interested in the Louisiana State Bar Association’s “Bridging the Gap” seminar, to be held on October 16–17 in New Orleans. This is a great seminar for anyone who just passed the Louisiana bar... Continue reading
Posted Oct 7, 2019 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
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Here’s a chart I’ve prepared for an upcoming CLE presentation showing the per-judge workload of each Louisiana Court of Appeal for 2018. (Click on or touch the chart to see it full-sized.) This shows, for each circuit, the total numbers of cases (blue), appeals (orange), and writ applications (green), divided... Continue reading
Posted Sep 25, 2019 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
Today, I happened to come across the La. Supreme Court’s decision in Mayeux v. Charlet, 2016-1463 (La. 10/28/16), 203 So. 3d 1030. Footnote 5 of Mayeux contains a lengthy quotation from Unwired Telecom Corp. v. Parish of Calcasieu, 2003-0732, pp. 8–10 (La. 1/19/05), 903 So. 2d 392, 400–01, discussing the... Continue reading
Posted Sep 19, 2019 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
Every decent book on legal writing or writing in general advises you to strive for simplicity: short words, easy-to-follow sentence structure, coherent paragraphs, etc. Today, most lawyers probably know that plain language fosters effective communication: the reader is more likely to understand what the writer is trying to say. If... Continue reading
Posted Aug 30, 2019 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
I have no particular comment on this recent unpublished decision by the U.S. Fifth Circuit except that the plaintiff-appellant calls himself “The King/Morocco” (apparently including the slash). Continue reading
Posted Aug 29, 2019 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
Everyone should know that an attractive, highly legible font makes a good impression on the reader. But can font selection work on a deeper level, making your brief either more or less persuasive? It can. This insight comes from a book I’ve been reading by Daniel Kahneman, Thinking, Fast and... Continue reading
Posted Aug 26, 2019 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
I recently started reading Thinking, Fast and Slow, a book by Daniel Kahneman. Although I’m only a fraction of the way through the book, I’ve read enough to recommend it. In future posts, I’ll write some tips that I’m gleaning from the book. Meanwhile, the message is this: If you’re... Continue reading
Posted Aug 20, 2019 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
I been in the right place, but it must have been the wrong time. —Dr. John Here are three principles of briefwriting that I try to follow: Every part of a brief should contribute to persuasiveness. Not every part of a brief should be argumentative. Argument should be confined to,... Continue reading
Posted May 22, 2019 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
If you practice in the Louisiana Second Circuit, be aware of two new briefing rules that become effective on May 31. First, if your brief has any attachments, it must include a certification that “all attachments to this brief have previously been duly filed and/or accepted or proffered into evidence... Continue reading
Posted May 17, 2019 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
This morning I gave my annual 1-hour presentation on appellate practice at the Louisiana State Bar Association’s Bridging the Gap seminar for new lawyers. For them and anyone else who may be interested, here are PDFs copies of my written materials my slide presentation (including slides I didn’t get to)... Continue reading
Posted May 9, 2019 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
Let’s say a party appeals a trial-court judgment that is partially incomplete. For example: The judgment awards plaintiffs “$4,733, along with any penalties and interest, for the amount of income tax liability Plaintiffs incurred,” but fails to specify the amounts of penalties and interest. The judgment awards a worker’s compensation... Continue reading
Posted Feb 1, 2019 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
Under La. Const. art. V § 5(D), the Louisiana Supreme Court has appellate jurisdiction when a law or ordinance has been declared unconstitutional. Let’s say that a plaintiff sues to have three statutes declared unconstitutional. The trial court renders a final judgment declaring two of the statutes unconstitutional but the... Continue reading
Posted Jan 18, 2019 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
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News flash: Louisiana Supreme Court Associate Justice Greg Guidry has been nominated to be a federal district judge for the Eastern District of Louisiana. Continue reading
Posted Jan 16, 2019 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
In case you ever need to research the Louisiana Constitution of 1921, here’s a link to an on-line copy, courtesy of the Cornell University Library. If you follow the link and scroll down, you’ll see download options, including PDF. p.s. For the Louisiana Constitution of 1879, follow this link. Continue reading
Posted Jan 16, 2019 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
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Yesterday, former Chief Justice Pascal F. Calogero died. He was the chief justice when I started practicing law in 1990, and served in that post for 18 years. His entire career on the Louisiana Supreme Court spanned 36 years, from 1973 through 2008. My own impression of him from his... Continue reading
Posted Dec 21, 2018 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
A few days ago, the Louisiana Supreme Court saved a litigant who purportedly appealed only from an order denying new trial rather than the judgment that was the subject of a motion for new trial. “While a judgment denying a motion for new trial is an interlocutory order and is... Continue reading
Posted Dec 21, 2018 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
In a decision rendered last month, the Louisiana Fifth Circuit held that a judgment vacating a default judgment is not a final judgment and therefore cannot be appealed. Russell v. Jones, 18-160 (La. App. 5 Cir. 11/14/18), — So. 3d —, 2018 La. App. LEXIS 2294. While the judgment might... Continue reading
Posted Dec 8, 2018 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
According to a members-only notice from DRI, the DRI 2019 Appellate Advocacy Seminar (open to everyone) is scheduled for July 19, 2019 in Chicago. That’s all the information I have now; there’s nothing on the DRI web site yet. If you need appellate CLE and like to plan way ahead,... Continue reading
Posted Dec 6, 2018 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
Here’s an interesting thread by Raffi Melkonian about what not to do in appellate oral argument. (Hat tip to Jack Pringle.) Continue reading
Posted Dec 5, 2018 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
If you are (a) reading this blog, and (b) in need of CLE hours, then check out the LSBA’s Advanced Appellate Seminar, scheduled for November 30 in New Orleans. The seminar co-chairs, Judge Sylvia Cooks and Tom Flanagan, have put together a solid program offering 6.25 hours of CLE credit.... Continue reading
Posted Nov 18, 2018 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
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 copy of my slide presentation U.S. 7th Circuit’s... Continue reading
Posted Oct 17, 2018 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
Can you appeal a trial court’s denial of summary judgment? Normally the answer is “no.” The reason is that a denial of summary judgment is an interlocutory judgment, not a final judgment, and is therefore not appealable. See La. Code Civ. P. art. 2083. But under a line of Louisiana... Continue reading
Posted Oct 12, 2018 at Louisiana Civil Appeals
Did Led Zeppelin plagiarize another song in writing “Stairway to Heaven”? A while back, a federal jury in California jury found that they didn’t. Last Friday, the Ninth Circuit reversed and remanded for a new trial. Skidmore v. Led Zeppelin, No. 16-56057 (9th Cir. Sept. 28, 2018). The dispute arose... Continue reading
Posted Oct 1, 2018 at Louisiana Civil Appeals