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Are Law Review Articles Relevant in Georgia or 11th Circuit Appellate Decisions?

Kirk Jenkins, at The Appellate Strategist Blog, poses an interesting question. Does Legal Scholarship Have an Impact on the Work of the Courts? The ABA and some judges say no, and a recent study says yes. Mr. Jenkins quotes United States Chief Justice John Roberts who recently characterized legal scholarship as not “particularly helpful” in…
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U.S. v. Irey: The Return of the Federal Sentencing Guidelines in the 11th Circuit

There is a moment in most great horror movies where the evil presence/bad guy/ghost/homicidal maniac takes out a character who has it coming. For a moment, the audience applauds the wicked antagonist. Think of Jason from Friday the 13th taking out a weaselly teen or the scene in Jurassic Park where the velociraptors eat Dennis…
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Local Politicians are Criticizing the High Costs of Interpreters

Due Process comes at a price. According to Patrick Fox, in a recent article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, it is expensive to provide interpreters for non-English-speaking defendants. In 2009, Gwinnett County paid $539,803 to provide interpreters. With a more diverse population comes an increased need for interpreters. Judge Davis of the Superior Court of Gwinnett…
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The Supreme Court of Georgia Now Allows E-Filing of Briefs

While it feels like August in Georgia, for appellate practitioners it may feel a little like it is Christmas. Today, the Supreme Court of Georgia has begun accepting briefs through its new e-filing system. From today forward, lawyers who are in good standing and members of the State Bar of Georgia and the the Supreme…
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A Very Disturbing Appellate Sanction Story

Jay O’Keeffe, in his blog reports that he is bothered by a recent development involving a lawyer who has been summoned to show cause and explain comments he made in a lower court transcript about the Virginia Supreme Court. Bothered is a mild way to describe my reaction to the story. Put more accurately, I…
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Ceremony for Clerk of Georgia Court of Appeals Offers Glimpse into Political Climate

These have been difficult days for the judiciary and for the Court of Appeals in particular. There are three openings on the Court and two branches of government that seem to view the court system as an inconvenient hurdle standing in the way of law enforcement. Add to the mix the fact that yesterday was…
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Appeals Law is Often About Turning Down Cases

In the past week, I sat down with two potential clients and their families to discuss taking an appeal. I thought one case was “winnable,” and one I thought was not. I put “winnable” in quotation marks because defining a win in appeals law is difficult. In one case , the prospective client recently entered…
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Atlanta Mayor’s Office Supplies Budgeted More Money than Public Defender

Donovan X. Ramsey at The Public Square, a Blog on Atlanta Politics and News,¬†reports that the City of Atlanta’s Public Defender’s Office receives less money for indigent defense than the Atlanta Mayor’s Office receives for office supplies. The Atlanta PD’s office is allocated about $1.1 million dollars for use in defending a projected 16,500 cases…
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Client Autonomy on the Front Lines as a Georgia Appeals Lawyer

From Bob Mabry at his blog, Courts and Writing, I learned about an article by University of Georgia law professor Erica J Hashimoto in the latest issue of the Boston University Law Review. According to Professor Hashimoto, the criminal client should have a complete right to represent himself at trial and on appeal. Also, when…
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A Key to Success on Georgia Appeals is to Really Know Your Audience

When I succeed in my brief writing or at oral argument (I measure success by writing a good brief and by fluid conversational delivery at argument — not necessarily by result), it is because I stop to think about my audience. More particularly, I remember that my audience includes a set of staff attorneys and…

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