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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 [...]

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, [...]

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 [...]

20 Dec, 2011

Book Review: Rehabilitating Lochner

2014-04-14T18:52:22+00:00December 20th, 2011|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

In the Winter 2012 Independent Review, I review David Bernstein’s Rehabilitating Lochner: Defending Individual Rights Against Progressive Reform. Here’s how it starts: Few Supreme Court cases receive more scorn in U.S. law schools than Lochner v. New York (198 U.S. 45), the 1905 decision that struck down a New York law limiting the number of [...]