Thursday, February 6, 2014
I have heard plenty of dialogue about whether or not attorneys should "respectfully request" that the court rule in a specific fashion. Likewise, I have also heard plenty of debate about whether or not attorneys should "respectfully disagree" with the judges during oral argument. It seems that adding the word "respectfully" is an unnecessary guise for professionalism and politeness, and merely eliminating that words does not diminish the respect the advocate has for the court.
Regardless of what we think about attorney usage of the "respectful request", have you ever heard a court "respectfully request that an appeal be denied"? Over at Volokh Conspiracy, he discusses how this is a growing trend in Pennsylvania. Apparently, in situations where the losing party is likely to appeal the trial court's decision, the court includes a statement at the end of its opinion asking the appellate court to either affirm the order of the trial court or deny the appeal.
Interesting concept. I wonder whether it actually impacts the decision of the appellate court or if it is viewed as a formulaic statement that is ultimately ignored. I'd love to hear from a PA attorney or judge familiar with this practice. I encourage you to check out the post over at Volokh.