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The Cockle Bur Blog

Legal minds on legal matters and whatever else strikes our fancy.

24 Apr, 2018

Formulating the Question Presented

2019-03-18T18:47:12+00:00April 24th, 2018|Tags: , , , , |

 “I have always been much better at asking questions than knowing what the answers were.” – Bill James, baseball historian There may be no more daunting task in all Supreme Court practice than distilling a 9,000 word cert. petition down to one or two questions presented. This level of difficulty should come as no surprise—only the [...]

20 Apr, 2018

Supreme Court Electronic Filing: Waivers and Extensions

2019-03-18T18:47:13+00:00April 20th, 2018|Tags: , , |

  Generally, filings submitted by parties represented by counsel must be submitted through the Court’s electronic filing system. When filing any type of brief, electronic filing is in addition to paper copy filing.  However, the following seven documents are submitted only through the Court’s electronic filing system: Motions for an extension of time (and responses [...]

17 Apr, 2018

Conference Timing Through The End Of The Term

2019-03-18T18:47:13+00:00April 17th, 2018|

We are getting near the end of the Court’s October 2017 Term. Some petitioners and respondents might be thinking about timing their filings to either have the case considered this term, or have it carried through the summer and into next fall. The last conference for this term is June 21st, and the last paid-petition [...]

9 Apr, 2018

Pointed QPs

2018-04-09T15:55:58+00:00April 9th, 2018|Tags: , , , , |

  “Brevity is the soul of wit.” ― William Shakespeare The questions presented page is assuredly the most important element of a Supreme Court petition.  Justices can reject an entire case based on review of the questions alone.  Rule 14.1 provides that they should be “expressed concisely in relation to the circumstances of the case, [...]

3 Apr, 2018

All About Original Actions

2019-03-18T18:47:13+00:00April 3rd, 2018|Tags: , , |

The Supreme Court receives many types of documents each day for its review. Appeals to the Supreme Court alone encompass a lot of different types of briefs, including petitions, briefs in opposition, amicus curiae briefs, and reply and supplemental briefs, to name a few. Less frequently, but equally important, are original actions, which are governed [...]

13 Mar, 2018

Supreme Court Trivia

2019-03-18T18:47:13+00:00March 13th, 2018|Tags: , , , |

  “There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact.” –Arthur Conan Doyle From the installation of a frozen-yogurt machine to verified Klu Klux Klan membership–here are 25 SCOTUS facts you didn’t know you needed to know: Curriculum Vitae: Excluding Senate confirmation, there are no formal requirements for becoming a Supreme Court Justice. 57%, or [...]

9 Mar, 2018

Proofraed You’re Suprme Court Breif!

2019-03-18T18:47:13+00:00March 9th, 2018|Tags: , , , , |

  Gressman on Supreme Court Practice – often referred to as the “Bible” on Supreme Court practice – details all matters of the Court, from how to (literally) pass through the Court’s guarded entrance to how to persuade the Court to invoke original jurisdiction. On the importance of proofreading and finalization, Gressman provides: Many brief [...]