Thursday, June 17, 2010

Published Upbraiding of Appellate Lawyer

Want to avoid public criticism from an appellate court?  Start by following the appellate procedural rules. 
Here is a case excoriating counsel for several rule violations.  (hat tip:  Legal Writing Prof Blog.)  It's a valuable cautionary tale from the Wisconsin courts.  It notes the lawyer in question, Estes,

"violated the rules of appellate procedure by failing to provide proper citation to the appellate record or to the relevant case law.  While not bothering to properly cite within it, Estes also submitted an excessively long,230-page appendix.  Including nearly the entire record in the appendix defeats the very purpose of an appendix.  Further, her brief’s table of authorities fails to comply with WIS. STAT. RULE 809.19(1)(a), which requires 'reference to the pages of the brief on which [the authorities] are cited.'  It is unacceptable to merely indicate 'passim,' without indicating even the first page at which an authority appears in the brief.  Nor is it acceptable to list in the table nine chapters of the Wisconsin statutes as a single authority, or, for that matter, a single chapter, or an entire code, or multiple sections of a federal act—all of which Estes did here, and all of which direct us only to 'passim.'"

California, too, requires proper citations, appendices, and tables of authorities.