Thursday, September 19, 2019


Wednesday, September 18, 2019

DJ profiles Hollenhorst

Today's DJ profiles Judge Hollenhorst, in Change Agent: Judge Timothy Hollenhorst tries to follow the advice of his father, an ex-appellate justice. For some real fun, read Judge Hollenhorst interviewing Justice Hollenhorst here.

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His father has always been his biggest hero, a man he describes as smart but humble. He’s the one who set him on the path to the law and has been his personal Yoda ever since.
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Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Oh Slappy Day!

Image result for how many licksHow many SLAPP decisions can issue in a single day? Well, one (from 2/4), two (from 4/1), three (from 2/2), four (another from 2/2)... And the day's not over yet...

For matters of regular appellate interest, see here and here. And here's a "reasonable" modification. has 'Don't Make Stuff Up': Justice Gorsuch on Being--and Selecting--a Supreme Court Clerk: He's the first Supreme Court justice to serve alongside a justice for whom he once clerked on SCOTUS. What' his receipt for a successful clerkship?

Monday, September 16, 2019

Cliché Touché

The Recorder's On Appeals column by Susan Yorke offers Think Outside the Cliché.

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  • "For trial lawyers who are pressed for time during motion practice, making a point by cliché might seem like the simplest and most effective way to convey their message. But using clichés in legal writing can be a risky business."
  • In Eminence Capital v. Aspeon, 316 F.3d 1048 (9th Cir. 2003), "Judge Stephen Reinhardt wrote separately to stress the particular problems caused by the use of clichés. He explained that clichés too often “provide a substitute for reasoned analysis.” When used in that manner, “they deaden our senses to the nuances of language so often critical to our common law tradition.” Because our legal system depends upon a “process of adaptation and progress” achieved through application of general principles to specific facts, it “necessitates the careful exposition of prose.” Thus, in trying to discern whether a result comports with the applicable statutes, rules, and case law, “the biting of apples does not help us.”"
And don't miss this month's CLA's Litigation Section's Sept. 2019 Litigation Update.

Friday, September 13, 2019

DJ profiles Justice Dorothy Kim

In Careful Work, today's DJ profiles 2/5's Justice Kim.

It’s nice when the judiciary in Los Angeles county reflects the society it serves, says appellate Justice Dorothy C. Kim, who a year ago became the first Korean American justice in California’s history.
“It is an honor to serve whether it is as the first or the 50th,” Kim said. “I was born in Korea but grew up in Los Angeles. It has been a great privilege to serve the very community where I grew up,” either as an assistant U.S. attorney, a superior court judge or on the 2nd District Court of Appeal.
  • “You have to advocate, but the record is set,” Kim said. “The most important skill is being able to accurately describe a record and explain as clearly as you can what the reported error is and explain why it is you are entitled to the relief you seek. You want to be credible as an advocate and ensure that if you said something in a particular way that the court — which will inevitably go through the court record itself — will find it there.”
  • “I am very confident that my colleagues and I keep a very open mind during oral arguments and often times I use oral argument as an opportunity to have questions answered,” Kim said. “Unlike in trial court — where it’s very free-flowing in terms of question and answer — this is our one shot to ask questions after we have read the briefs and reviewed all the record.”
  • When she isn’t sitting on a panel or researching cases, Kim enjoys spending time with her family, running in half marathons and spending time outdoors.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

CJP evidence phase over

Today's DJ reports Justice makes last testimony in defense, says accuser lied - Justice Jeffrey Johnson was recalled as the last witness in his Commission on Judicial Performance hearing Wednesday.
"The panel reconvenes Oct. 8 in San Diego for final arguments on the evidence before the members report their findings to the commission. The hearing began Aug. 5 in Los Angeles."

[9/13 update: Today's DJ has Panel rejects justice's move to strike accuser's testimony, about how the CJP panel of special masters denied a motion to strike the testimony of a former extern. "The panel will hear final arguments Oct. 8."]

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

ABA's Appellate Issues available online

The 2019 Summer Edition of the ABA's Appellate Issues is now available here!

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This themed edition of Appellate Issues focuses on Niche Appellate Practice. The issue features diverse and enlightening articles ranging from pro bono appellate practice, to appellate mediation, appellate bonds, and other topics in between. Two articles focus on the appellate lawyer’s role in partnering with trial counsel and other appellate opportunities, and the final article offers advice from federal district judges who sit by designation on appellate panels.

9th Cir. Binge Viewing!

The Ninth Circuit has posted on YouTube videos of the programming from its recent Judicial Conference in Spokane: If you didn’t get to attend the Ninth Circuit’s recent Judicial Conference in Spokane, you can now view the video of many of the sessions HERE, including:
Also, you can watch "Here Come the Judges: The Newer Appointments to the Ninth Circuit” broadcast yesterday by the the Orange County Bar Association’s Appellate Law Section meeting here.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Appealability opinions

Two published opinions today about appealability (both published after requests were filed):
  • This one from 4/1 (D073824) holds that a stipulated judgment is appealable under CCP 904.1 if the judgment entered differs from the terms of the parties' stipulated settlement; and a post-judgment order denying relief is also appealable under CCP 904.1(a)(2).
  • And this one (F078292) from the 5th holds that an order denying judicial reference is not appealable (despite the argument that maybe appealability could rest on CCP 1294.2), and that the way to seek appellate relief must be by writ petition. (You can 'thank the Academy' for this one!)
Also of note, the Sept. 2019 issue of LA Lawyer has an article about LACBA's State Appellate Judicial Evaluation Committee (the group that evaluates candidates for elevation to the Court of Appeal in LA and elsewhere) on page 40. 

You call yourself a specialist?

If you're a certified specialist in California, you probably know that you're supposed to refer to yourself as follows:
Rule 3.126 of the Legal Specialization program rules states that a certified specialist should refer to him/herself as certified by "The State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization."
At least, that's what the Advertising webpage for the specialization program shows (here). However, Rule 3.126 was amended in May, and no longer uses the term "Board of Legal Specialization," presumably since that Board is being reformed/replaced, i.e., "The Legal Specialization program is now administered through the Admissions Information Management System (AIMS) community." So, current Rule 3.126 reads as follows:
Rule 3.126 Designation as certified specialistCertification may be indicated by “Certified by The State Bar of California,” the logo of the certified specialization program, or both. Certification is individual and may not be attributed to a firm. Anyone whose certification has been revoked or suspended may not claim to be certified specialist. (Rule 3.126 adopted as Rule 3.123 effective January 1, 2014; renumbered effective July 24, 2015; amended effective May 17, 2019.)
Therefore, you may want to change your email signature, business cards, etc. On the other hand, you are also authorized to use the "Legal Specialization Program's logo" (aka the Bear Logo) -- which itself still uses the "California Board of Legal Specialization" wording! Eventually this will all get sorted out....

Monday, September 9, 2019

A Bigger 9th Circuit?

Today's DJ has Might GOP and Democrats agree on bigger 9th Circuit?

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    The successful confirmation of President Donald Trump's latest 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals nominee, Oregon state judge Danielle Hunsaker, would fully staff the circuit's 29 active judicial posts for the first time since 2015. But repeated recommendations from the federal courts' administrative body suggest that full complement of authorized judges still leaves the circuit lacking needed bench officers.
  • The Judicial Conference of the United States, which considers court rules and policy, recommended in March Congress authorize five additional judgeships for the San Francisco-based circuit. has Noel Francisco Discusses How He Prepares for the Nation's Biggest SCOTUS Hearings.

And here's a great line (from this case today): "Like an epistolary novel, this case unfolds as a series of letters."
On the topic of literary opinions, don't miss this published one from the 9th Circuit! Complete with "chapters" and preliminary quotations!
<9/11/19 update: And see the dissent here.>