How Appealing

Monday, April 11, 2005

“Black leaders urge nominee rejected”: The Associated Press provides a report that begins, “Black leaders urged the U.S. Senate to reject the nomination of U.S. District Judge Terrence Boyle to the federal appeals court in Richmond, Va., saying his hostility to civil rights and high rate of reversal makes him unfit for the job.”

Posted at 11:02 PM by Howard Bashman

“Showdown on judges: Senate Republicans would make a mistake by shoving through once-rejected nominees.” This editorial will appear Tuesday in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Posted at 10:48 PM by Howard Bashman

“Death penalty back on table for trucker in deadly smuggling case”: Harvey Rice of The Houston Chronicle has a news update that begins, “Truck driver Tyrone Williams, who avoided the death penalty in his immigrant-smuggling trial last month, will again face the possibility of a death sentence when federal prosecutors put him on trial again.”

Posted at 10:40 PM by Howard Bashman

In a case of first impression, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit holds that the removal provisions of the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 do not apply to cases filed in state court before that Act became law: Or, stated another way, the only state court class actions that can be removed to federal court within the Tenth Circuit under the newly enacted law are those filed in state court after February 18, 2005, when President Bush signed the Class Action Fairness Act into law. You can access today’s ruling at this link.

Posted at 8:40 PM by Howard Bashman

“News Cos. Support Reporters in Apple Case”: The Associated Press reports here that “More than a half-dozen news organizations are supporting three online journalists who published articles about a top-secret technology product that Apple Computer Inc. says was protected by trade secret laws.”

You can access the amicus brief at this link. And The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press has today issued a press release titled “Reporters Committee files brief supporting journalists subpoenaed by Apple over marketing plans.”

Posted at 5:30 PM by Howard Bashman

First Circuit decides appeal arising from racially charged shooting death of black off-duty Providence, Rhode Island police officer by two white on-duty Providence police officers as all three were responding to the same incident: You can access today’s ruling on the merits at this link.

By means of a separate opinion issued today arising from the same case, the First Circuit overturned Rule 11 sanctions against the plaintiff’s lawyers and the revocation of pro hac vice status imposed against attorneys Barry Scheck and Nicholas Brustin of the New York-based law firm of Cochran, Neufeld & Scheck LLP.

Posted at 5:04 PM by Howard Bashman

Two months after U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit denied rehearing en banc in Vermont campaign finance law case, judges issue opinions dissenting from that denial: You can access all three of today’s dissenting opinions at this link. And this may not even be the end of it. According to today’s order, “Other judges of the court have indicated that they expect to file opinions concurring in the denial of in banc rehearing in due course. Further dissenting opinions may also be forthcoming.”

The three-judge panel’s earlier ruling in the case can be accessed here (majority opinion) and here (dissenting opinion).

Posted at 3:00 PM by Howard Bashman

“CAFC Judge Mayer: ‘maybe posting paneling is a very, very bad thing.'” Last month, the blog “Patently-O: Patent Law Blog” had this post reporting the remarks at an oral argument by one judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit who was questioning the wisdom of that court’s relatively recent practice of disclosing in advance of oral argument which three-judges have been assigned to hear and decide the appeal.

Today, the Federal Circuit issued a decision in that case, holding that the appellee’s covenant not to sue, entered into in apparent reaction to learning the identities of the judges assigned to hear the appeal, mooted the case. “Patently-O: Patent Law Blog” offers a report about today’s ruling titled “Appeals Court Dismisses Apotex Case Against Pfizer’s Quinapril Patent.”

From my perspective as an appellate advocate, I much prefer learning in advance of the date for oral argument which three judges have been assigned to hear and decide the case. Are there any persuasive arguments for why the identities of the judges assigned to an appeal should not be made known until the time of oral argument? If so, why shouldn’t their identities be shielded until the time of the ruling? At oral argument they could sit behind opaque partitions and have their voices synthesized so that their identities are completely masked.

Perhaps the argument favoring secrecy is that three-judge panels doing the work of a larger appellate court are supposed to reflect the judgment of the court, and not the judges as individuals? But in practice, judges on three-judge appellate panels appear to be deciding cases in the manner that the individual judges believe is correct, instead of attempting to suppress their individual views in favor of the perhaps differing views that a majority of judges on the full court would have.

If readers disagree with my analysis or believe that I am overlooking worthwhile arguments on either side of this issue, please let me know.

Posted at 2:00 PM by Howard Bashman

Double digits! Ten years ago today, my wife and I had the pleasure of welcoming our son into the world.

He and I will celebrate the occasion by, among other things, attending many baseball games, including this Friday’s Braves-Phillies game. We also have tickets to this Sunday’s Braves-Phillies game, but because that’s been changed to a night game (thanks ESPN!) he won’t be able to attend. Such are the perils of growing up the son of a Braves fan in the Philadelphia region. Not among his birthday presents, however, is this newly unveiled Braves cap (worn by the team for Sunday home games, along with the new alternate jersey), because we didn’t learn of its existence until yesterday’s game.

Posted at 12:06 PM by Howard Bashman

“Third attempt to ban mascot; Lawmaker Goldberg again targets schools’ use of ‘Redskins'”: This article appears today in The Sacramento Bee.

In somewhat related news, The Santa Fe New Mexican reported earlier this month that “Illini mascot forced from tournament.” And last Thursday, columnist Greg Couch had an essay entitled “Where’s the Chief? Illinois must decide” in The Chicago Sun-Times. Back on June 1, 2004, as I noted here that day, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit issued an opinion that begins, “This case, raising First Amendment issues involving the University of Illinois, concerns ‘Chief Illiniwek,’ who, depending on one’s point of view, is either a mascot or a symbol of the university.” My coverage of that ruling provoked an avalanche of reader mail, which can be sampled here, here, and here.

Posted at 11:44 AM by Howard Bashman

“Why Nuclear War May Be Undesirable: Filibusters–a bad idea whose time has come.” Mickey Kaus has this post up at kausfiles. My take on the issue appears today in The Legal Intelligencer (see the sidebar for the title and first sentence), but it won’t be available online here, subscription-free, until Wednesday.

Posted at 11:28 AM by Howard Bashman

“Blawg Review #1” has its debut at “Notes from the (Legal) Underground”: Click here to access a round-up of noteworthy posts from law blogs you may never have visited.

Posted at 10:55 AM by Howard Bashman

“Pothead Grandmother Spared Jail”: In news from England, Reuters provides this report.

BBC News reports that “Cannabis grandmother spared jail; A 66-year-old grandmother from Northumberland has been spared jail by a judge for drug dealing.”

Saturday’s edition of The Times of London reported that “Guilty cannabis granny is free to carry on baking,” while in today’s newspaper Mary Kenny has an essay entitled “Pass that reefer, grandma.”

The Sun (UK) reports that “Pot granny spared jail.”

The Guardian (UK) reports today that “Cannabis pensioner takes on Hain in Neath stronghold” and reported on Saturday that “Cannabis case grandmother is spared prison.”

Finally, Saturday’s edition of The Independent (UK) reported that “Grandmother fined for drug deals.”

Posted at 10:44 AM by Howard Bashman

“A Suit That Makes More Cents for the Lawyers; A reporter’s son joins the millions who unwittingly become class-action plaintiffs; His cut: 49 pennies.” This article appears today in The Los Angeles Times.

Posted at 10:08 AM by Howard Bashman

“Judge Scolded For Advocating Bush’s Defeat; Panel Says It Was An Ethics Violation”: Josh Gerstein of The New York Sun, who has owned this story since day one, today has this article in that newspaper. I first noted Friday’s decision of the Judicial Council of the Second Circuit in a post you can access here.

Posted at 7:28 AM by Howard Bashman

“Ginsburg’s reasoning is foreign to real logic”: The Mobile Register today contains an editorial that begins, “If Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg thought last week that she was providing intellectual justification for letting foreign courts influence American judges, she was mistaken.”

Posted at 7:22 AM by Howard Bashman

“Grokster Case May Rewind Betamax Precedent; The Supreme Court Is Weighing Arguments About the Legality of File-Sharing Programs Like Kazaa”: The Columbia Spectator contains this article today.

Posted at 7:14 AM by Howard Bashman

“Senator Won’t Apologize for Linking Judicial Politics, Violence”: Luiza Ch. Savage has this article today in The New York Sun.

The Washington Times reports today that “GOP sees judges as fair game.”

The San Antonio Express-News contains an editorial entitled “Remarks about judges strike frightening chord.”

The Charlotte Observer contains an editorial entitled “Scalia vs. DeLay: A principled conservative vs. a political opportunist.”

In The Washington Post, columnist Ruth Marcus has an op-ed entitled “Booting the Bench: There’s new ferocity in talk of firing activist judges.”

And in The Daily Republic of Fairfield, California, Robert Lando has an essay entitled “Courts did their job in Schiavo case.”

Posted at 7:10 AM by Howard Bashman