Monday, January 21, 2008

clear, persuasive writing earns inmate SCOTUS review

Most lawyers—even most appellate lawyers—never get the chance to take a case to the United States Supreme Court. A South Carolina inmate, however, has succeeded, writing a persuasive and cogent petition for writ of certiorari. The Court granted the writ prepared by Keith Burgess and has placed his case on its docket for argument this term.

Burgess’s newly appointed counsel is proud of his client, according to a recent news story:

"He has accomplished what tens of thousands of attorneys across the country have not been able to," said Stanford Law School professor Jeffrey L. Fisher, who now represents Burgess. "I told him he should really be proud of himself."

The case is Burgess v. United States, No. 06-11429. To view the petition for writ of cert, click Download Brief_01-21-08_115934.pdf .

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http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/legalwriting/2008/01/clear-persuasiv.html

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Comments

More impressive yet if one agrees that SCOTUS tends to grant more cert petitions filed by the "superstar" attorneys that regularly appear before it, as one professor claims (see this post at the WSJ.com Law Blog: http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2007/10/22/are-the-supremes-starstruck-like-the-rest-of-us/).

It probably didn't hurt that Burgess's case involves a circuit split on a sentencing issue involving crack cocaine in a year where sentencing standards and the crack/powder cocaine sentencing disparities have enjoyed a high profile.

Still, impressive!

Posted by: Greg May | Jan 21, 2008 5:42:33 PM

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Posted by: Coursework | Jan 25, 2008 3:50:07 AM

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