Friday, April 21, 2017
Among the panels today was one on drafting judicial opinions and appellate briefs. The panelists (from left to right) were: Valerie Couch, Dean of the Oklahoma City University School of Law; Illinois Appellate Court Justice (and President of Scribes) Michael Hyman; Chief Judge Kem Thompson Frost of the Texas 14th Court of Appeals; and Minnesota Appellate Court Judge (and Scribes Board Member) Kevin Ross, the panel moderator.
The panel examined the structure and purpose of each part of an appellate court opinion. The panel described effective ways of presenting the facts and controlling law. They discussed the dangers of using humor in judicial opinions, noting that for litigants their cases are complex, expensive, and serious. And not to disappoint, the panelists also discussed the hot topic of whether citations should appear in the text of an appellate court opinion or in a footnote.