One requirement the First Circuit will have that I have not yet seen elsewhere is an electronic signature. Most of us are accustomed to “signing” a document by typing “/s/ [name]” above the signature line when creating the document in Word or WordPerfect. That may not do for the First Circuit. Local Rule 8 defines electronic signature as “an electronic sound, symbol, or process attached to or logically associated with a document and executed or adopted by a person with the intent to sign the document.” If you don’t know how to sign a document electronically, do not fear; just visit this Adobe web page and watch the little instructional video.
As a long-time member of the DRI Appellate Advocacy Committee, I invite you to join us at the upcoming DRI Appellate Advocacy Seminar, scheduled for June 17–18 in Chicago. The seminar will include a live oral argument on a class-action fact pattern before a panel of federal judges, an in-house counsel discussion of their use of appellate lawyers, a federal judge discussing diversity in appellate practice, and discussions of the role of appellate counsel during trial, recent appellate court decisions of importance to litigators, building an appellate practice, and effective motions practice.
If you like hearing from judges at your CLE seminars, then you’ll love the lineup for this one. Among the judges on the faculty are Hon. Duane Benton (U.S. 8th Cir.), Hon. Bernice Bouie Donald (U.S. 6th Cir.), Hon. Sara L. Ellis (N.D. Ill.), Hon. Eva Guzman (Tex. Supreme Ct.), Hon. Theodore A. McKee (U.S. 3d Cir.), Hon. Costa M. Pleicones (S.C. Supreme Ct.), Hon. Richard A. Posner (U.S. 7th Cir.), Hon. Margret G. Robb (Ind. Ct. App.), Hon. Michael J. Talbot (Mich. Ct. App.), and Hon. James A. Wynn, Jr. (U.S. 4th Cir.). Then there are two former chief justices of state supreme courts: Wallace B. Jefferson (Tex.) and Eric J. Magnuson (Minn.).
You can find more information about the seminar (including registration info) by clicking here, and you can download the PDF brochure by clicking here.
(My prior plug for this seminar is here. I hope you don’t mind my replugging.)
The Louisiana Second Circuit has adopted a new schedule of filing fees to take effect July 1. It also lists the numbers of copies for motions, briefs, writ applications, and rehearing applications. It’s not posted on the court’s web site yet, but you can get a preview by clicking here.
If you register for e-filing with the Louisiana Supreme Court, here is a tip that may save you some time: You must enter your contact information exactly as it appears in the Louisiana State Bar Association’s membership directory. If your e-file registration information does not match your LSBA directory information exactly, the administrator will reject your application. This goes not just for your e-mail address, but also for your other contact information. I recommend that you pull up your LSBA directory info in one browser window or tab, pull up the e-file registration form in another, and copy and paste from the directory to the registration form.
I didn’t know this until I tried to register myself; it took three tries over two working days to give them exactly what they wanted. Part of the problem is that I have more than one office e-mail address; another part is the variety of ways one can address mail to the 45th floor of One Shell Square. Nevertheless, after two rejection e-mails, I figured it out.
Here is another tip: Don’t wait until you have to file something before registering. It will take the administrator about a day to approve or reject your registration. You can telephone someone if you need immediate approval, but you probably don’t want to add this to your list of deadline-day anxieties. Because of the way the process works, the time to register is when you’re not up against a deadline.
I just did a little tidying up of my appellate blogroll, which you’ll find in the right column near the bottom. I deleted some blogs that have not been updated in more than two months. And I added the IMLA Appellate Practice Blog, produced by the International Municipal Lawyers Association. Among its offerings are writing tips and appellate-court news. One of the contributors is Ann Schwing, whom I know through Scribes.
So check out the appellate blogroll. It now includes 23 appellate blogs from across the country. If you know of a worthwhile appellate blog that’s not listed, send me an e-mail and we’ll see about curing the omission.
This afternoon, I co-presented an hour of CLE on appellate practice for the Louisiana State Bar Association’s “Bridging the Gap” seminar, a program for newly minted lawyers who passed the February 2014 bar exam. For attendees and anyone else who may be interested, here are some supplemental materials used or discussed in the presentation:
In Praise of Moot Court—Not!, in which Judge Kozinski discusses the differences between law-school moot-court competitions and real-world appellate practice
The Wrong Stuff, in which Judge Kozinski offers tips to help you lose your next appeal
If you’re looking for samples of appellate pleadings and briefs, I have some collected at this prior blog post. I cannot vouch for their currentness, because the Uniform Rules have been updated twice since I uploaded them. So use them if you must, but don’t trust them, because they were written under a different set of rules.
Under former Rule 2-12.4(B)(2), briefs citing decisions from other states had to be accompanied by an attached copy of those decisions. That requirement has been deleted, perhaps because every member of the Louisiana State Bar Association has free access to Fastcase throught the LSBA’s web site. Since the rules generally prohibit attachments to briefs other than those required by the Uniform Rules, this means that you must not attach copies of cases to your brief.
Rule 2-12.6.1, authorizing letters of supplemental authorities, has been amended to prohibit any attachments to those letters—not even a copy of the supplemental authority cited in the letter.
Rule 2-12.5, governing the content of the appellee’s brief, has been corrected to allow omission of assignments of errors, the statement showing preservation of evidentiary errors, and a copies of the judgment or order appealed and any reasons for judgment.
Rule 2-8.1, governing motions to dismiss or remand, has been amended to allow the motion to include a request to suspend briefing delays until the motion is ruled on. (The former rules required a separate motion to suspend briefing delays.)
Rule 2-8.7 has been amended to authorize a motion to suspend briefing delays for reasons other than a pending motion to dismiss or remand. But the mover must state “good cause” for the suspension.
Rules 2-13 (governing filing of papers in general) and 4-5 (governing writ applications) have beeen amended to require that the original and all copies filed with the court must be legible. (As a matter of effective advocacy, this should go without saying.)