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Appellate lawyers are rarely the first lawyer on the case. Sometimes, the trial lawyer stays on for the appeal. And sometimes the appellate lawyer was part of the trial team. But appellate lawyers are very often the lawyer who renders a second opinion. Frequently trial and appellate lawyers are consulted to render a second opinion or as a possible substitute for previous counsel. And I’ve been thinking about how to handle these things lately and…
I’ve spoken at 2 CLEs in the last few weeks. Both presentations were to groups of public defenders. The first was on the topic of preserving a record on appeal. And the second was on motions practice in child abuse cases. Whenever I speak on these topics, I invariably hear the same response from folks in the audience: “my judge will never grant this motion / allow me to do what you are explaining /…
If you have an upcoming trial, try this: spend thirty minutes, and draft one single motion. Don’t know what to ask for, then think of it this way. What’s one decision you would like from the judge that would make the trial more fair for your client. That’s it. One motion. You obviously could set aside a few hours and draft several motions. But start with one. Then set it down for a hearing and…
I now have my doubts about The Genius Bar at the Apple Store. On Friday, after court, I stopped by an Apple Store to get some technical help from the folks at The Genius Bar. A few weeks ago, I left a set of airpods in their charger in a pair of pants and ran it all through a wash cycle. I was surprised that the airpods worked great, but the charger did not. So,…
I just finished up Nassim Taleb’s The Black Swan. I offer neither a review nor a summary below. What you will find are all the passages I highlighted as I read this book on the kindle. I’ve done some lite editing. But there are places where I may have pulled passages in the middle of sentences. Derek Sivers does this with the books he reads. And I’ve long thought of doing something similar…
Yesterday, I spoke on my aversion for offices and love for working pretty much anywhere. Here are a few more details. This morning, I had calendar in Gwinnett County, Georgia, which is pretty far away from where I live. Since I was taking over for another lawyer, I had to file a document known as a substitution of counsel. It’s a document that lets the court know that a new lawyer is taking over the…
I almost never work in my office. The office is mainly a place to meet a client for the first time or a week or so before court. It is also the place where I retrieve mail that will be scanned into our system. My actual office is in my briefcase. I sprawl the contents of this office on tables in various courtroom law libraries or coffee shops throughout the state. Today is a prime…
This week, I became involved in an appeal much later than I typically do. The Court of Appeals had already made its decision, and I drafted a motion for reconsideration for my new co-counsel. Typically, when I draft a motion for reconsiderayion, I am getting my ducks in a row for a petition for certiorari or I am trying to throw a hail mary pass for a devestated client. My typical motion for new reconsideration…
Last weekend, I chaired a two-day seminar on appellate and habeas practice. GACDL hosted the seminar at my alma mater, the Georgia State University College of Law. I’m jealous of their new building. We didn’t exactly have it tough at the old Urban Life Building, but the new kids are lucky to be in such a cool space. As for the seminar, I took good notes and plan to steal from our speakers for…
The New York Times ran an article this week about a lawyer in Galveston, Texas, who was penalized by a judge for working took hard on his cases. The matter is the subject of a Federal lawsuit. The lawyer was appointed by the judge to represent a man charged with breaking into a car. The defendant faced a year in jail. After the lawyer did a rigorous investigation, the case was reduced to a misdemeanor.…