Preparing Your Brief

/Preparing Your Brief
23 Oct, 2017

Which Supreme Court Justice Will Rule On Your Extension?

2019-03-18T18:47:14-05:00October 23rd, 2017|Tags: , , |

Though the Clerk of the Supreme Court is empowered by Rule 30.4 to act upon most applications and motions which seek an enlargement of a filing deadline, he is specifically prohibited from acting on an application to extend the time to file a petition for writ of certiorari.  All such applications must be addressed to and acted [...]

12 Oct, 2017

Amicus Briefs: The Interest of Amicus Curiae Section and Footnote 1

2017-10-12T19:08:20-05:00October 12th, 2017|Tags: , |

Two of the most common pitfalls when drafting an amicus brief in the Supreme Court can be found on the first page: Interest of Amicus Curiae section and the required Footnote 1 information. Fortunately, these errors are easily remedied and can often be avoided. In this post, we will discuss how to best handle your [...]

29 Sep, 2017

Supreme Court Updates Its Rules to Reflect Electronic Filing

2019-03-18T18:47:14-05:00September 29th, 2017|Tags: , , , |

The Supreme Court has adopted a revised version of its Rules to implement electronic filing.  The revisions will take effect when the electronic filing system becomes operational on November 13, 2017.  Highlights from the revisions are reproduced below,* in order of importance: Rule 29. Electronic Filing: “In addition to the filing requirements set forth in [...]

19 Sep, 2017

Appellate Writing Style: An In-Depth Study

2019-03-18T18:47:15-05:00September 19th, 2017|Tags: , , |

  “Voiceless, passive, complex writing is a liability.” -- John Campbell, associate professor at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law and co-director of the Denver Empirical Justice Institute. A recent study published at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law finds a strong correlation between attorneys who win cases and attorneys who [...]

7 Sep, 2017

From Draft to Supreme Court Booklet

2019-03-18T18:47:15-05:00September 7th, 2017|Tags: , , , |

  Day 1 10:00 AM: I’m emailed to Cockle, as scheduled.  Right now, I’m a near-final draft of a legal brief in Microsoft Word (though WordPerfect is also acceptable).  My text size, formatting, and margins don’t matter.  I don’t even have page numbers yet.  But over the next two days, I’ll be transformed into a [...]

18 Jul, 2017

A Note on Seventh Circuit Jurisdictional Statements

2019-03-18T18:47:16-05:00July 18th, 2017|Tags: , |

Federal appellate court practice can be a daunting experience, especially if you practice in multiple circuits. While the circuits share many common rules and practices, many of the circuits also have unique features that are important to be aware of. Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 28(a)(4) states that one of the things that must be [...]

12 Jul, 2017

The Supreme Court’s Mailbox Rule

2019-04-19T16:12:02-05:00July 12th, 2017|Tags: , , , |

  Supreme Court Rule 29.2 – the Court’s Mailbox Rule – operates so that a document is filed if, on or before its due date, it is: Received by the Clerk; Shipped to the Clerk through the United States Postal Service using postmarked first-class mail (a commercial postage meter cannot be used); or Handed to a third-party commercial carrier for [...]

13 Jun, 2017

The Criminal Justice Act and the Supreme Court

2019-03-18T18:47:16-05:00June 13th, 2017|Tags: , , , |

Under the Criminal Justice Act of 1964, 18 U.S.C. § 3006A, Federal criminal defendants are entitled to the appointment of counsel if they are unable to obtain adequate representation “at every stage of the proceeding from initial appearance through appeal.”  State and Federal courts have long interpreted the words “through appeal” to include most challenges [...]

2 May, 2017

Guide to Pro se In Forma Pauperis Petitions

2019-03-18T18:47:17-05:00May 2nd, 2017|Tags: , , , , |

   In forma pauperis (IFP) proceedings are those cases in which the Supreme Court allows an indigent party to file a petition for writ of certiorari without paying its $300 filing fee or preparing printed booklets (to learn about filing IFP Briefs in Opposition, click here). A petition worthy of certiorari is generally thought to [...]

27 Apr, 2017

For Want of a Comma

2019-03-18T18:47:17-05:00April 27th, 2017|Tags: , |

“For want of a comma, we have this case.” This is the opening sentence to a recent opinion from the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.  In O'Connor v. Oakhurst Dairy, No. 16-1901 (1st Cir. 2017), the First Circuit ruled on whether a missing Oxford comma in an overtime exemption statute entitles [...]