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7 Jun, 2018

Supreme Court Petition Checklist

2019-03-18T18:47:12+00:00June 7th, 2018|Tags: , , , , , |

Pilots are required to learn and use checklists for every aspect of flight, from preparing for take-off to dealing with equipment malfunction. It was a checklist that helped Captain Chelsey “Sully” Sullenberger and co-pilot Jeffery Skiles safely land their US Airways flight in the Hudson River after the plane’s engines were damaged by a flock [...]

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 [...]

12 Feb, 2018

A Cert. Worthy Argument

2019-03-18T18:47:13+00:00February 12th, 2018|Tags: , , , |

While Supreme Court experts offer nuanced distinctions on how to construct the argument section in a petition for writ of certiorari, most agree that accounting for the difference in purpose between a cert. petition and a brief filed in the lower courts is essential. The paramount difference between a petition and a lower court brief [...]

7 Nov, 2017

So You’re Saying There’s A (3.8%) Chance?

2019-03-18T18:47:14+00:00November 7th, 2017|Tags: , , , , , , |

According to statistics from the most recently completed Supreme Court term, you have more than a snowball’s chance in you-know-where of getting a petition for writ of certiorari granted. During the Court’s 2016 Term, completed in June, the Justices disposed of 6,305 petitions – down from 7033 filings in the 2014 Term and 6475 filings [...]

14 Jun, 2017

Guide to Pro Se In Forma Pauperis Petitions

2019-03-18T18:47:16+00:00June 14th, 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 contain [...]

2 May, 2017

Guide to Pro se In Forma Pauperis Petitions

2019-03-18T18:47:17+00:00May 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 [...]

20 Oct, 2016

“Relist” as a Requisite to Certiorari

2019-03-18T18:47:19+00:00October 20th, 2016|Tags: , , , , , |

The procedures by which the Supreme Court decides to grant or deny a petition for writ of certiorari are well-guarded.  Unless you work, or have worked for the Court, it’s nearly impossible to appreciate the specific mechanisms which contributed to a decision on certiorari. Thanks to Michael Kimberly (Mayer Brown LLP), John Elwood (Vinson & [...]

1 Sep, 2016

How to Draft a Winning Pro Se Petition

2019-03-18T18:47:20+00:00September 1st, 2016|Tags: , , , , |

  Petitioning the Supreme Court can be a daunting task.  Careless writing, poor formatting, and ignorance of the Court’s rules can significantly decrease the odds that your petition will be selected for review. Filing a brief fraught with errors makes it nearly impossible to win any appeal.  By developing a working knowledge of the essentials [...]

28 Jun, 2016

Constructing the Argument Section in your Supreme Court Petition

2019-03-18T18:47:21+00:00June 28th, 2016|Tags: , , , |

  While Supreme Court experts offer nuanced distinctions on how to construct the argument section in a petition for writ of certiorari, most agree that accounting for the difference in purpose between a cert. petition and a brief filed in the lower courts is essential. The paramount difference between a petition and a lower court [...]