Appellate Advocacy Blog

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

Friday, May 3, 2019

Appellate Advocacy Blog Weekly Roundup May 3, 2019


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 Real a quick email or a message on Twitter (@Daniel_L_Real).  You can also send emails to Danny Leavitt at or a message on twitter @Danny_C_Leavitt

Supreme Court Opinions and News:

Recently, the Court heard oral argument in a trademark case, Iancu v. Brunetti, in which Erik Brunetti applied to register for federal trademark protection his trademark FUCT for use as a brand of clothing. For decades, the Lanham Act has prohibited registration of marks that are deemed offensive as being “scandalous” or “immoral.”  The US Patent and Trademark Office examining attorney rejected the application on the basis that the mark is a phonetic equivalent of a vulgar work, and the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board affirmed that refusal.  On appeal, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ultimately reversed the board’s holding, finding that the bar on registration of scandalous and immoral trademarks violates the First Amendment.

The Court also recently heard arguments in a criminal case involving the constitutionality of language in a federal law used to prosecute gun crimes.  In the case, United States v. Davis, Maurice Davis and Andre Glover were convicted and sentenced under 18 U.S.C. 924(c)(3)(B) for committing “crime[s] of violence”   related to a string of armed robberies They challenged, alleging the language is unconstitutionally vague and arguing that it violates due process protections. 

Bloomberg had an article recently featuring two women advocates appearing before the US Supreme Court and discussing the disparity between men and women appearing before the Court. 

State Appellate Court Opinions and News:

In Washington, the Supreme Court issued an opinion in which it purported to "overturn" a conviction on a 4-4 ruling.  Based on some sleuthing done by Gene Johnson, a Seattle-based AP writer, it appears that the conviction was intended to stand -- the Washington Court of Appeals denied review, and then the defendant sought review by the Supreme Court.  According to the Washington Courts, the result of the decision was that the conviction stood, despite the language in the opinion.

Practice Pointers:

Kimberly Robinson of #AppellateTwitter posted recently about the Supreme Court adopting rule changes that, among other things, reduced the word count for merit briefs and shortened the time for reply briefs.

Appellate Job Openings:

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