How to write People’s appeals


Are you an unrecognized Great Legal Mind? Do you love the idea of  throwing bad people in jail but don’t have what it takes to wow a jury? Has your prosecutorial career been unfairly hindered by irrational social prejudices against your personal habits, such as drunk driving? Do you need extra $$$ until you’re old enough to get at your trust fund?

If you answered yes! to any of the above, then People’s appeals are for you! They’re fun, they’re easy and they’re guaranteed to win. Best of all, you can berate criminals to your heart’s content from the comfort of your cubicle without having to look at them in court.

All you need is the mind of a virtuous kindergartner and a computer with spellcheck. We supply the rest.  Just clip out the attached coupon and send it to your local DA. Be sure to put it to the attention of the incumbent, since the former DA might be in jail and you could get stuck writing a defendant’s brief. Ha, ha, just kidding!

Enclose a complete set of fingerprints, palmprints, your retinal scan, DNA profile and semen sample. As soon as you and your family have been satisfactorily investigated, you’ll receive your FREE People’s Appeals Starter Kit containing:

  •  A signed color photo of the DA suitable for framing.
  • A defense brief.
  • The People’s Appeals Bureau Standard Template™, approved by the National Junta of District Attorneys.
  • The People’s Appeals Bureau Automatic Phrases, Adjectives and Adverbs™ software, approved by same.
  • A FREE bonus copy of “The Handy Dandy Guide to the U.S. Constitution” by King George III.
  • A FREE bonus bumpersticker saying, “Presumption of Innocence is a Theory.”

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is the purpose of the People’s Appeals Bureau Standard Template™?

A.  It enables us to ensure uniformity by filing the same brief in every case. We think of our briefs as like cars coming off the assembly line identically manufactured but with room for individual variations such as furry dice hanging from the inside mirror or a dog with blinking eyes in the rear window.  After all, a People’s brief only needs to say, “Defendant’s arguments are unpreserved and in any event without merit and the defendant’s guilt is overwhelming and this Court should not disturb the court’s judgment/jury’s verdict.” In some jurisdictions, we simply file a form with checked boxes.

Q.  What is the People’s Appeals Bureau Automatic Phrases, Adjectives and Adverbs™ software?

A.  Many People’s Appeals Bureaus aspire to the tone judicial although as noted, a form with checked boxes is perfectly adequate to ensure affirmance. Our Automatic Phrases program fills in legaloid responses such as, “The right to [name of constitutional right] is not unlimited,” followed by a random cite to a Supreme Court case.  Those who aspire to the wit judicial may choose,  “There is no constitutional right to [take up two seats on the subway] [stab your business partner 27 times],” or whatever the defendant’s crime was.

The program automatically precedes any reference to a defendant’s exculpatory statement  with “self-serving,” and “defense expert” with “paid.” A court’s discretion is  always  “sound,” and “based on its opportunity to see and hear the witnesses.” Unless, of course, the ruling was against us. In that case, “discretion” is automatically replaced by “the judge’s personal policy preferences.”

Q.  Can People’s briefs be written by a robot?

A.  Yes, they usually are. We also send robots to oral argument although they tend to short-circuit when asked an unexpected question. Not that it makes any difference to the outcome, of course.

Q.   Then what’s the use of hiring humans?

A.   So they can go out on maternity leave, enabling us to delay our responses until the baby is old enough to vote.  But don’t imagine for a moment that we stifle individuality. For instance, instead of saying, “defendant’s arguments are meritless,” you can say, “without merit,” or even “utterly without merit.” When it comes to original thinking, the sky’s the limit.

Q.  What if even with the Standard Template, I can’t think of an answer to the defendant’s argument?

A.  Easy. Answer something else and say it’s the same thing.  The court will never notice.

Q.  Will I have to read a lot of cases?

A.  Obviously you should cite as many cases as possible, but reading them is strictly optional. What counts is YOUR opinion! After all, you learned the difference between right and wrong at your mother’s knee. If you can go through life without breaking the law, why should you tolerate it when other people do?

Q.  Sounds like People’s appeals are for me! Rush me my Free Starter Kit right away!

About Appellate Squawk

A satirical blog for criminal defense lawyers and their friends who won't give up without a squawk.
This entry was posted in Criminal Defense Appeals, Criminal law, Humor, Law & Parody, Satirical cartoons and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to How to write People’s appeals

  1. E. Schwartz says:

    You forgot to include the “Brooklyn Rules of Evidence.:
    e.g. Hearsay exceptions?
    Trial judge: Was the defendant present?
    A: Yes
    Judge: I’ll allow it.


  2. Alex Bunin says:

    Hey, stop helping ’em! That is good advice.


  3. Wasserman, Roy says:

    One of your best! I really mean it. This email response is NOT from a template.

    Sent from my iPhone


  4. Victoria Nelson says:

    An absolute classic.


  5. Daniel Ashworth says:

    Brilliant. During my short tenure as CABBIE, I often found my best arguments in the People’s briefs. But when I started citing their briefs for this purpose, the court told me – with obvious disgust – to ignore the People’s brief. I, of course, was appalled.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.