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April 2014

New La. appellate rules effective May 1

The Conference of Court of Appeal Judges has tweaked the Uniform Rules. You can find a copy of the amended rules on the Louisiana Second Circuit’s web site. On the Louisiana First Circuit’s web site, you can find a document showing the revisions (deleted language struck through and added language in bold, underlined text) and explaining their purpose. Among the amendments are the following:

  • 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.)

High-quality appellate CLE

If you’re looking for high-quality appellate CLE, I have a couple of suggestions.

The first is the DRI Appellate Advocacy Seminar, to be held in Chicago on July 18 and 19. I’ve been a member of the DRI Appellate Advocacy Committee since 1998 or so, and I’ve attended all but one of its seminars. They’ve been consistently excellent. This one promises to continue that tradition of excellence. Judges and former judges on the faculty include Bernice Bouie Donald (U.S. 6th Cir.), Sara L. Ellis (N.D. Ill.), Joan N. Ericksen (D. Minn.), Eva Guzman (Tex. Supreme Ct.), Wallace B. Jefferson (former chief justice of the Tex. Supreme Court), Theodore A. McKee (U.S. 3d Cir.), Margret G. Robb (Ind. Ct. App.), Michael J. Talbot (Mich. Ct. App.), James A. Wynn, Jr. (U.S. 4th Cir.), and — drum roll — Richard A. Posner (U.S 7th Cir.).

The second is the Appellate Judges Educational Institute Summit, to be held in Dallas on November 13–16. This event brings together appellate judges, lawyers, and staff attorneys for education and socializing. The program hasn’t been released yet, but based on the AJEI’s past performance, I’m confident that this one will be worthwhile.