Author Archives: Appellate Squawk

About Appellate Squawk

A satirical blog for criminal defense lawyers and their friends who won't give up without a squawk.

Oral argument to be replaced by Chat Bot

In the latest move towards the efficient disposal of appeals, the Administrator of Court Administrative Administration announced that all oral arguments in criminal and SORA appeals will henceforth be handled by “Affirman, the Virtual Judge.” “This is a long overdue … Continue reading

Posted in Law & Parody | 2 Comments

2023: Lunar New Year of the Rabbit

Despite their apparent reserve, rabbits often feel strongly about issues in which they take an interest. Humans born in the Year of the Rabbit include Albert Einstein, Tina Turner, Orson Welles, August Pinochet, Frank Sinatra, Lee Harvey Oswald, and Queen … Continue reading

Posted in Law & Parody | 1 Comment

The charade of appellate review

“He’s a good man,” argued the Guv, defending her pick for Chief Judge – a veiled reference to the last one, who suddenly resigned amidst ethical inquiries. Besides, he’s “of color,” so what’s the problem? A bevy of law profs … Continue reading

Posted in Judges, Law, satire | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Appellate Judges to be Replaced by ChatGPT

Official Photograph of the Judges of the New Appellate Court Ushering in the most revolutionary innovation in legal drafting since dispensing with cuneiforms on clay tablets, the Administrator of Court Administration announced today that appellate judges will be replaced by … Continue reading

Posted in Appellate advocacy, Criminal Defense Appeals, Humor, Judges, Law, Law & Parody, Satire and parody | 8 Comments

ACT UP: HIV+ is not a sex offense.

It’s not often that a People’s brief sparks a public protest. But when ACT UP got wind of NY District Attorney Bragg’s enthusiastic support for a Louisiana law singling out HIV+ persons for felony prosecution, they picketed his office. The … Continue reading

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Getting AIDS from Typewriter Keys

If you went to Sunday School (or saw “Ben Hur” with Charlton Heston), you remember how in Bible times persons living with leprosy had to carry a little bell and cry, “Unclean! Unclean!” so people could scatter from their path. … Continue reading

Posted in Law & Parody | 2 Comments

NY DA Supports Discrimination Against HIV+ Persons

The NY DA’s Office is firing on all cylinders to have a man classified as a sex offender under SORA based on his conviction under a 1987 Louisiana law called “Intentional Exposure to AIDS Virus.” The statute is one of … Continue reading

Posted in Law & Parody | 1 Comment

The Public Defender Card Game

A game of chance and skill, just like real life, invented by our friend Caroline, underpaid public defender extraordinaire of Minnesota. The goal is to pick a white card that answers the question on the purple card. Blank cards are … Continue reading

Posted in Law & Parody | 3 Comments

Maud Maron v. The Legal Aid Society

“I prithee, take thy fingers from my throat.” — Hamlet Two years ago, Maud Maron, school parent, community activist, former president of Manhattan’s largest school district, and defense attorney at The Legal Aid Society, wrote an Op-Ed piece questioning the … Continue reading

Posted in Law & Parody | 3 Comments

I’m objective, thee is biased

“Even Homer nods,” goes the saying, meaning that even the best can go off the rails now and then. So the great cognitive scientist Itiel Dror came up with a hypothetical study to show that forensic pathologists are more likely … Continue reading

Posted in Forensic "science", Law & Parody | Leave a comment

People’s briefs and other horror fiction

In the psychological horror thriller Neighbor George, the appalling creature who possesses Dovey the narrator tells her she’s doomed to a living death. Her body will remain in the physical world, but “the real you will belong to Mom and … Continue reading

Posted in Law & Parody | 7 Comments

“My pronouns are sheehurr… so yours would be?”

A few years back, we got in BIG trouble for parodying the boss’s decree that our very first question to clients should be about their gender identity. Our point, complicated as it may seem, was that such personal questions are … Continue reading

Posted in Law & Parody | 3 Comments

May it really, really displease the court

One of our favorite Appellate Division decisions is when the First Department went ballistic against a fellow Squawk for citing the scientific research that incest offenders have a low rate of recidivism. “REPUGNANT TO COMMON DECENCY!” hollered the the court. … Continue reading

Posted in Law & Parody | 10 Comments

Defending the Second Amendment

Posted in Law & Parody | 1 Comment

May It Displease the Court

Our late mother had a sign pinned to the broom closet reading, “When others eliminate work, they’re efficient. When I eliminate work, I’m lazy.” So we viewed with a jaundiced eye the First Department’s recent trumpeting of its work-elimination efficiency.  … Continue reading

Posted in Appellate advocacy, Criminal Defense Appeals, Judges, Law & Parody | Tagged | 7 Comments

Covid in the Courtrooms: an Unnecessary Risk

What’s the riskiest place in NYC for Covid infection? Bars? Frat parties? Mass gatherings to celebrate “Reopening New York”? Nope. It’s the criminal courts. Working for a public defender outfit, we’ve been hearing daily reports from our so-called Covid Task … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Judge Jack Weinstein 1921-2021

Judge Weinstein died on June 15, 2021 at the age of 99.  This is a re-run of our post from December, 2016 when he was only 95. Our excuse for the repetition is that we’d like to add to the … Continue reading

Posted in Law & Parody | 3 Comments

In-Person Oral Argument Should Go the Way of the Dodo

It’s one thing for the Guv to announce that we can now eat at restaurants, and a good thing too, since we’re pretty sick of our own cooking. But going to court in person? Who needs it? State criminal courts … Continue reading

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Convicting Bill Cosby: “An Unconstitutional Coercive Bait-and-Switch”

“They tell you to follow your dreams. Does anyone say you have to wake up first?” — Bill Cosby. The Constitution woke up.  “While the prosecutor’s discretion in charging decisions is undoubtedly vast,” said the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, “it is … Continue reading

Posted in Law | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Judge Conviser rips into SORA

Or at least into the way it’s applied. SORA, or the Sex Offender Registration Act, is a brutal set of laws whereby persons convicted of a designated “sex offense” (not necessarily involving sexual misconduct), can be required to register with … Continue reading

Posted in SORA | Tagged , | 1 Comment