Appellate Advocacy Blog

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

Friday, June 21, 2019

Appellate Advocacy Blog Weekly Roundup Friday, June 21


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:

The Supreme Court notably avoided the new case over the clash between  same-sex couples and wedding cake bakers. This time, the case  came out of Oregon. Recall that last year the Court ducked the ultimate issue in a case out of Colorado. In the Oregon case, the Court issued a brief order sending the case back down to the trial court for “further consideration” in light of the Colorado case that the Court issued last year. Read about it here, here, and here. 

Tony Mauro and Marcia Coyle in the Supreme Court Brief remind us that on July 1, new court rules will limit briefs to 13,000 words, down from the current 15,000-word limit. They include in their reporting  comments by legal-writing experts Bryan Garner, Hank Wallace, and Ross Guberman. Find their piece here. They include this account by Chief Justice Roberts about cutting from briefs:

But the all-time best technique for trimming may have come from the late Chief Justice William Rehnquist. His successor and prior law clerk John Roberts Jr. recounted the time when he submitted a draft opinion to Rehnquist. Rehnquist circled sections of the draft and told Roberts to “put it all in footnotes.” Roberts did so and gave it back to Rehnquist, who told him, "Now cut out all the footnotes."

And last—about the last week of the Court’s term—Adam Feldman @AdamSFeldman tweets about what we can learn from the Court in its last week. 

The Court has been issuing opinions this week, some of which include the Establishment Clause, the non-delegation doctrine, statute of limitations, and jurisdictional-channeling issues. SCOTUSblog briefs the issues  here

Circuit Court and State Appellate Court Opinions and News:

The Court of Appeals for the First Circuit ruled on behalf of Maine’s former Governor in a lawsuit brought by the state’s former House Speaker. The lawsuit challenged the former Governor’s actions to fund a charter after the former House Speaker was fired from his job with the charter school. The court ruled the former Governor was protected by immunity, with three judges on the panel finding that the former House Speaker’s constitutional rights were violated. The case is reported here.  

Practice Pointers:

Howard Bashman wrote this piece on being aware of appellate waiver traps in state court.

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