Appellate Advocacy Blog

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

Friday, December 7, 2018

Appellate Advocacy Blog Weekly Roundup Friday, December 7



Each week, the Appellate Advocacy Blog Weekly Roundup presents 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).

Supreme Court Opinions and News:

The Supreme Court took an extraordinary step this week, shutting down on Wednesday out of respect for the passing of former President George H.W. Bush.
The Supreme Court this week asked the United States Solicitor General to submit a brief setting forth the Trump administration's position in a pair of cases concerning whether groundwater falls under the purview of the federal clean water act.  The cases could ultimately impact operating procedures for businesses and municipalities concerning disposal of groundwater pollution. Read more HERE.
On Thursday, the Court heard arguments in the case Gamble v. United States.  The case involves a felon who asserts that his convictions by state and federal prosecutors for the same gun possession crime violates Constitutional prohibitions against double jeopardy.  Supreme Court precedent dating back to the 1850s has made an exception to the doctrine and allowed successive prosecutions and punishments if one is brought by the state and one by the federal  government.  The Gamble case has piqued interest in part because of ongoing controversy over the potential that President Trump might pardon Paul Manafort of federal convictions, with several states suggesting an interest in bringing state charges if that happens.

   Read a preview of the arguments HERE.

   Read a Bloomberg Law post-argument review HERE.

   Read a Twitter thread post-argument predicting that dual prosecution rule won't be overturned HERE.

The AP ran an article this week exploring common catch phrases of the Justices on the Supreme Court -- sort of "verbal signature" phrases, if you will.  For example, Justice Sotomayor often prefaces a question with the phrase, "I'm sorry . . ." and Justice Gorsuch often indicates where a portion of a case is troubling him by indicating that he needs the attorney's "help" in explaining away the difficulty. Read more HERE.

Federal Appellate Court Opinions and News:

On Monday, the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts announced the appointment of the federal judiciary's first judicial integrity officer, Jill Langley, director of workplace relations for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit and recognized employment dispute resolution expert. Read more HERE.

State Appellate Court Opinions and News:


The California Court of Appeals this week upheld a finding that universities are responsible for student safety when students are participating in curricular activities.  The holding came in the appeal of a case where a student was stabbed.  The appellate court had, in a prior appeal, ruled that the school was entitled to summary judgment. That ruling, however, was reversed by the California Supreme Court. After remand for trial and a subsequent appeal of a verdict in favor of the plaintiff, the appellate court has affirmed the school's responsibility. Read more HERE.

Practice Pointers:

#AppellateTwitter member Raffi Melkonin observed a day's worth of oral arguments this past week and put together a Twitter thread on his observations about what differentiated effective and non-effective arguments.  Some great information HERE.

Appellate Job Openings:

The Maryland Office of the Attorney General is seeking applicants for an Assistant Attorney General for the Courts & Judicial Affairs Unit.  The position would likely include substantial appellate responsibilities on behalf of the state. More information HERE.

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