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 of the Louisiana Supreme Court, eight judges of the Louisiana courts of appeal, some smart lawyers, and me. For more information about the seminar, follow this link. To download the registration form, follow this link.
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.)
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 in counseled cases. Here are all the numbers:
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 members will, at the Court’s invitation, be appointed in civil appeals that, for example, present issues of first impression, complex facts or legal questions, or potentially meritorious claims warranting further briefing and/or oral argument.
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 in Time, 51 La. B.J. 338 (Feb./Mar. 2004), on making sure that your application for a supervisory writ is timely
- Immortal Forms: The Vampires of Legal Writing, For the Defense 57 (Jan. 2009), on why forms are the enemies of good briefwriting
Although I counsel against over-reliance on forms (see Immortal Forms above), I’m happy to share some samples of the kinds of court filings discussed during my presentation:
- Notice of intent to seek a supervisory writ
- Application for supervisory writ
- Appeal brief (appellee)
Finally, make your briefs look better by following this advice on typography:
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 yours truly. Today, I am happy to hand out this bonus goody to this blog’s readers: a $25 discount on the seminar registration fee. Just use this flyer to register—it has a $25 speaker-referral discount.
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 faculty will include Justice James Genovese of the Louisiana Supreme Court, eight judges from the Louisiana courts of appeal, several outstanding appellate advocates, and me. Here’s the schedule:
8:30-8:45 a.m. - (.25 credits)
Thomas M. Flanagan • Flanagan Partners • New Orleans
8:45-9:45 a.m. - (1 credit)
Writ Practice: Herlitz, Writ-Grant Considerations, and Law of the Case
Hon. Roland L. Belsome, Jr. • 4th Circuit Court of Appeal • New Orleans
Hon. Rosemary Ledet • 4th Circuit Court of Appeal • New Orleans
Jennifer L. Thornton • Stanley, Reuter, Ross, Thornton & Alford • New Orleans
9:45-10:45 a.m. - (1 credit)
Appellate Review: Supreme Court vs. Court of Appeal
Hon. James T. Genovese • Louisiana Supreme Court • Opelousas
11:00 a.m.-Noon - (1 credit)
The Winning Oral Argument: Mock Argument and Critique
Hon. Paula A. Brown • 4th Circuit Court of Appeal • New Orleans
Hon. Sandra Cabrina Jenkins • 4th Circuit Court of Appeal • New Orleans
Kim M. Boyle • Phelps Dunbar • New Orleans
Harry Rosenberg • Phelps Dunbar • New Orleans
Martin A. Stern • Adams and Reese • New Orleans
Lunch (on your own)
1:15-2:15 p.m. - (1 credit)
The Role of the “Second Chair” on Appeal
Camille E. Gauthier • Flanagan Partners • New Orleans
Emily E. Ross • Sher Garner Cahill Richter Klein & Hilbert • New Orleans
Alex B. Rothenberg • Gordon, Arata, Montgomery, Barnett, McCollam,
Duplantis & Eagan • New Orleans
2:15-3:15 p.m. - (1 credit)
The Winning Brief: Persuading the Court and Following the Rules
Hon. Terri F. Love • 4th Circuit Court of Appeal • New Orleans
Hon. Fredericka H. Wicker • 5th Circuit Court of Appeal • Gretna
Kelly B. Becker • Liskow & Lewis • New Orleans
3:30-4:30 p.m. - (1 credit - Prof.)
Professionalism on Appeal
Hon. Regina Bartholomew Woods • 4th Circuit Court of Appeal • New Orleans
Hon. Jude G. Gravois • 5th Circuit Court of Appeal • Gretna
Thomas M. Flanagan • Flanagan Partners • New Orleans
Raymond P. Ward • Adams and Reese • New Orleans
For more information about the seminar or to register online, follow this link.
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.
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 the busiest state appellate court. Also not surprising is that writ applications comprise a significant percentage of each court’s volume. What is surprising is the predominance of writ volume in the Fourth Circuit: 672 writ applications versus 334 appeals. That’s more than twice as many writ applications as appeals. These numbers include both civil and criminal cases, but exclude pro se writ applications.
The 2016 statistics on writ applications have some other surprises. Those will be subjects of future posts.
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 of the respective fact statements by Justices Stevens and Scalia in Atkins v. Virginia, 536 U.S. 304 (2002). We examined the techniques Justice Scalia used to play up facts supporting his opinion, and those Justice Stevens used to do the opposite. For anyone who may be interested, here are some freebies from the presentation (all in PDF).