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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

Author |Preparing Your Brief|0 Comments

 “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 U.S. […]

20 Apr, 2018

Supreme Court Electronic Filing: Waivers and Extensions

Author |Legal Brief Printing|0 Comments


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 thereto);

17 Apr, 2018

Conference Timing Through The End Of The Term

Author |Supreme Court Rules|0 Comments

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 distribution […]

9 Apr, 2018

Pointed QPs

Author |Preparing Your Brief|0 Comments

“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, without unnecessary […]

3 Apr, 2018

All About Original Actions

Author |Constitutional Law, Supreme Court, Supreme Court Rules|0 Comments

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 […]

16 Mar, 2018

March 16th: Recently Filed Petition

Author |Briefs Filed|0 Comments

Am. Expl. & Mining Ass’n v. Zinke, filed on March 9th


To read this Supreme Court petition, click the heading to open this post, then follow the link!

13 Mar, 2018

Supreme Court Trivia

Author |Uncategorized|0 Comments


“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 64 out of […]

9 Mar, 2018

Proofraed You’re Suprme Court Breif!

Author |Proofreading|0 Comments


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 writers do not […]

16 Feb, 2018

Guns and the Supreme Court in the Last Decade

Author |Supreme Court|0 Comments

Firearm case law in the United States is largely based on decisions of the Supreme Court and federal circuit courts of appeals.  When tragedies like Parkland, FL or Sandy Hook, CT occur, Second Amendment supporters and detractors are quick to opine on the state of guns in America.

Today, we offer a quick look at how […]

14 Feb, 2018

Special Edition: A Recently Filed Petition

Author |Briefs Filed|0 Comments

Lee-Walker v. New York City Dep’t of Educ., Supreme Court docket number 17-1065.




To read this Supreme Court petition, click the heading to open this post, then follow the link!