Previous month:
September 2018
Next month:
November 2018

October 2018

For “Bridging the Gap” participants

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:

Below are links to downloadable PDFs of sample appellate briefs and pleadings. For reasons stated during the seminar, please do not follow these slavishly; the rules may have changed since these were written.

Can you appeal a denial of summary judgment?

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 First Circuit cases, there’s an exception to this rule. The exception occurs when the parties file cross-motions for summary judgment, and the trial court grants one motion while denying the other. If the summary judgment granted by the trial court is appealable, then the appellant can also appeal the denial of the cross-motion for summary judgment. This line of cases includes the following:

I don’t recall any cases on this topic from other circuits. If you know of any, please send me an email or leave a comment.

The Song Remains the Same—Or Doesn’t

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 because of similarities between “Stairway to Heaven” and the song “Taurus,” written by Randy Wolfe and performed by Spirit. I haven’t read the decision yet and probably won’t comment on it here, but I thought I’d share it here for any music lovers and guitar players who may be interested.

Here’s a video of “Taurus.” If I did this right, it should start at 0:45, where it has a chromatically descending bass line similar to that in the intro to “Stairway.”