Appellate Advocacy Blog

Editor: Tessa L. Dysart
The University of Arizona
James E. Rogers College of Law

Friday, December 2, 2016

Appellate Advocacy Blog Weekly Roundup December 2 2106


After a brief holiday hiatus, the Appellate Advocacy Blog Weekly Roundup returns today with a few tidbits of news and Twitter posts from the past week concerning appellate advocacy. As always, if you see something during the week that you think we should be sure to include, feel free to send Dan a quick email or a message on Twitter (@Daniel_L_Real).

Garland Returning to Bench

Judge Merrick Garland has been in or on the fringes of the news for months now, ever since President Obama nominated him to fill the Supreme Court seat vacancy created by the death of Justice Scalia.  With the recent election results, the possibility of any confirmation hearing ever happening for Judge Garland is all but gone.  So now, for the first time in months, he'll put his robe back on and return to the bench as the Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.  The Salt Lake Tribune wrote about it this week.

Supreme Court News

This week saw several pieces of Supreme Court news.

First, on Tuesday, November 29, the Court issued its first opinion of the term.  In Bravo-Fernandez v. U.S., the Court held that the issue-preclusion component of the double jeopardy clause does not bar the government from retrying a defendant after a jury has returned irreconcilably inconsistent verdicts of acquittal and conviction if the conviction is later vacated for legal error unrelated to the inconsistency. The Court's decision was an 8-0 unanimous decision.  See more at SCOTUSBlog.

Also on Tuesday, the Court heard argument in Moore v. Texas, concerning the Eighth Amendment and standards for intellectual disability  and medical standards for determining whether an individual may be executed. You can find more about this case and the arguments at SCOTUSBlog.

On Wednesday, November 30, the Court heard arguments in Jennings v. Rodriguez, a case involving whether aliens seeking admission to the U.S. who are subject to mandatory detention must be afforded bond hearings.  You can find more about this case and the arguments at SCOTUSBlog.

New Federal Rules

Orin Kerr (@orinkerr) noted on Twitter this week that new amendments to a variety of federal rules, including the appellate rules, are now in effect.  See the US Courts rules and forms page for more.

Sean Marotta (@smmarotta) reviewed the major changes to the FRAP, so check that out for a quick reference.

Appellate Practice

Lisa Solomon (@lisasolomon ), founder and CEO of Now Counsel Network, had an article on ARAG about using fiction techniques to write more persuasive fact sections in appellate briefs. Relying on the work of Brian Foley and Ruth Anne Robbins, Solomon advocates focusing only on relevant facts, including accurate citations to the supporting evidence, and using storytelling techniques to boost the persuasive force of the facts section.

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