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January 2023

December 2022

A suggested New Year’s resolution for La. appellate lawyers

If you’re a Louisiana lawyer with substantial experience in appellate advocacy, here’s a goal to consider for 2023: becoming a board-certified specialist in appellate practice. The window to apply for certification is open until February 28, 2023. Here are the basic requirements:

  1. Active membership in good standing with the Louisiana State Bar Association.
  2. Minimum five years experience practicing law full time.
  3. Minimum 25% of your practice on appellate advocacy during at least four of the last five years.
  4. Serving as lead counsel or having substantial responsibilty in 25 or more appellate matters.
  5. At least five oral arguments under your belt.
  6. During the application year (ending Dec. 31, 2023), 15 hours of appellate CLE.
  7. Taking and passing a written examination.

For a complete copy of the standards for achieving and maintaining certification, follow this link.

Right now, there are just 15 certified appellate specialists in Louisiana. If you meet the criteria, consider making it 16. For more information on how to apply, follow this link.

New forms for LASC writ applications

The Louisiana Supreme Court has updated its forms for the civil writ-application filing sheet and (for expedited writ applications) the civil priority filing sheet. The formats of both have been revised to make them easier to read—no more tiny type. The writ-application filing sheet has a few new questions to look out for. Both forms no longer require mailing addresses or land-line phone numbers; instead they require names, bar roll numbers, email addresses, and cell-phone numbers. The civil priority filing sheet requires the names, email addresses, and cell-phone numbers of the lower court judge and judge’s law clerk. There’s also a fill-in version of the civil priority filing sheet, so no need to fill it out by hand or typewriter anymore.

The new forms became effective December 15, so don’t wait until the end of the year to start using them. Start now.

Coming Jan. 1, 2023: Amendments to Uniform Rules

A few months ago, I wrote a blog post about a comprehensive set of amendments to the Uniform Rules of Louisiana Courts of Appeal to take effect January 1, 2023. As I wrote back then, the amendments appear to be intended to do three things:

  1. to update the rules to account for electronic filing (now available in all five circuits); 
  2. to implement uniformity in certain style choices; and
  3. to abolish rules that have become obsolete.

For my own use, I created a redline document illustrating the amendments, which I’m happy to share with anyone who’s interested. To do that, I copied the current Uniform Rules from the La. Fifth Circuit’s web site and pasted them into a Word document. Starting with that document, I made another document of the rules to take effect on January 1, using the Louisiana Rules of Court pamphlet published by Thomson Reuters (the folks at Westlaw) as a source to manually make an updated version of the Uniform Rules. I then used the compareDocs program to generate a redline document showing the differences between the current version of the rules and the updated version to take effect on January 1.

For anyone who’s interested, here’s a link to a downloadable PDF of the redline. No warranties: the redline is an unofficial document; it’s subject to human error (mine); plus I’m just a user of compareDocs, not its developer. Come January 1, please don’t rely on my work product; instead consult an official and more reliable source for the new Uniform Rules.