Monday, July 13, 2015

A few recent articles of note

From the DJ -- Today:
Criminal Law 2.0 by ... Judge Alex Kozinski:  "Although we pretend otherwise, much of what we do in the law is guesswork. For example, we like to boast that our criminal justice system is heavily tilted in favor of criminal defendants because we'd rather that ten guilty men go free than an innocent man be convicted. There is reason to doubt it, because very few criminal defendants actually go free after trial."
 Last Friday:
The hated, caustic and honest Scalia, by Dan Lawton
New Justices seen in courts subtle changes, discussing Justices Cuellar and Kruger
Kennedy was right for wrong reasons, by Ilya Shapiro
Kozinski's objection ends with settlement in Nissan class action

In the Recorder:

Also of interest in the NLJ:
Judge Bybee Recusal at Center of Doctor's Suit
Ted Cruz Dishes on Ginsburg, Scalia, Other Justices (in his new autobiography A Time for Truth)
Ted Olson Critiques Cruz, Scalia (e.g., to ridicule Sen. Ted Cruz's call for a constitutional amendment to subject U.S. Supreme Court justices to retention elections) [see also Ted Cruz's SCOTUS retention election idea makes him unfit for presidency, federal judge writes]

Here's a chart showing the percentage of certified appellate specialists versus other specialty areas. According to this chart, there are only 292 certified appellate specialists in California.

See also Second Appellate District Pro Bono Program Expands to Provide Briefing, Oral Argument in Selected Cases in the LA County Bar Update.

Back on June 26 Law360 ran 10 Things You Should Know About California Appellate Law, by H&L's David Axelrad and Karen Bray. Does their top 10 list match yours?
1. The deadline to appeal is jurisdictional.
2. If it's not in the record, it doesn't exist.
3. Waiver can be a landmine.
4. The standard of review can make or break an appellate issue.
5. Error is not enough.
6. Well-written briefs are key.
7. Oral argument should be used to answer questions from the court.
8. Writ petitions are rarely granted.
9. Petitions for rehearing are not motions for reconsideration.
10. Grounds for granting petitions for review are narrow.

ABA Journal offers 7th Circuit criticizes lawyer for raising too many issues on appeal. The appellant presented 13 issues for decision, "violating the principle that appellate counsel must concentrate attention on the best issues." "The brief's writing is careless to boot; it conveys the impression of 'dictated but not read.'"