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Judge Wool says
“Truth comes knocking at the door and everybody jumps out the window.” — Bill Cosby
- People’s briefs and other horror fiction
- “My pronouns are sheehurr… so yours would be?”
- May it really, really displease the court
- Defending the Second Amendment
- May It Displease the Court
- Covid in the Courtrooms: an Unnecessary Risk
- Judge Jack Weinstein 1921-2021
- In-Person Oral Argument Should Go the Way of the Dodo
- Convicting Bill Cosby: “An Unconstitutional Coercive Bait-and-Switch”
- Judge Conviser rips into SORA
- Adios, 2020!
- THE BEST OF APPELLATE SQUAWK 2010-2020
- Call a rose by any other name and it’ll see you in court
- Try the new high-tech system for alienating your clients
- Outdoor Public Defending
- Why do cops lie? Because judges believe them.
- Courts to replace juries with potted plants
- Do Statues Matter?
- Sexual thoughts and the First Amendment
- COVID-19 masks for judges
- Judges in trouble
- Hell hath no fury like a client scorned
- “Don’t you dare invite me to your stupid Zoom party!”
- Janitors, Catholic schoolteachers and the Hosanna exception
- Supreme Court hears robocall case, flushes toilet
- “Planet of the Humans”
- The virus, like the rain, falleth on the just and the unjust
- The NYC arraignment scandal: part 2
- NYC courtrooms: the arraignment scandal
- Squawk under house arrest
- Must be true, says so right here in the Probation Report
- Discovery reform in Brooklyn: fuggetabout WitCom
- Happy Lunar New Year 2020: Year of the Rat
- The Sex Offender Bus
- Head for the hills, discovery reform arrives with the New Year!
- Annals of Social Injustice: Affluent People Drinking Rosé in Central Park
- Is it silly to demand transparency from appellate courts?
- “Your question has nothing to do with this case, Judge.”
- Not your law office? Click here.
- Let’s keep dogs off the witness stand.
- Forget speed dating, try jury duty!
- The Busywork Conspiracy
- Life in non-punitive therapeutic civil commitment is not what you think
- Buster the civil commitment dog
- Is it a crime to sleep it off in your car?
- What really happens in court: the unvarnished truth
- Putting the brakes on “victims’ rights”
- Maestro James Levine (somewhat) rehabilitated
- The Compulsory Program Mystique
- Fox snarls at pursuing hounds, is shot for bullying behavior
- Follow Appellate Squawk on WordPress.com
Category Archives: Criminal Defense Appeals
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
We’re always grousing about how courts deny our appeals without reading our briefs, but a recent Supreme Court cert denial showed that’s a heap of ol’ catfish compared to what goes on in Louisiana. The scandal broke back in May, … Continue reading
The other day we were glumly printing out a closing letter to a client: “Court of Appeals denied leave . . . end of the line. . . wishing you the best for the future,” when we noticed something new on … Continue reading
Defendant E. Bunny appeals her conviction of kidnapping of minors, trafficking and disorderly conduct. For the reasons stated below, we affirm. Contrary to defendant’s laughable argument, her arrest was entirely lawful. Police Officer Cluck credibly testified that based on his … Continue reading
Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat and swallow a camel. — Matthew 23: 24. In an unusual burst of candor, New York’s highest court recently confessed to what we’ve always suspected: if your appeal is a loser, it … Continue reading
Our company boss-persons recently decreed that the office’s 50-year archive of vintage appellate briefs must go. We sadly watched as giant blue bins were loaded to the brim with typewritten pre-computer gems of scholarship and advocacy, condemned to be recycled … Continue reading
Does your boss stifle dissent? You’re not alone! The fearless Judge Saxe, retired from the First Department, reveals that Chief Judge Flowerpot refuses to let judges stay past retirement age if they’ve written too many unsuccessful dissents. Used to be that … Continue reading
One of our worst moments as an appellate squawk was sitting in an Alabama courtroom watching a lawyer hand over his former client’s entire file to the prosecutor. The idea being that if a defendant argues on appeal that his … Continue reading
The latest decree from the boss is to reform our vocabulary in compliance with The Criminal Justice Reform Phrase Guide authored by The Opportunity Agenda, a propaganda machine describing itself as a “social justice communication lab” that “shapes compelling messages … Continue reading
Defense lawyer Cheryl Coleman thought it was a brilliant idea to hire her local Assistant District Attorney – the aptly named Steve Sharp – to write her criminal appeals on the QT. For years, Sharp and Coleman regularly appeared against … Continue reading
Judge Saxe is at it again, handing out more advice about appellate briefwriting. “The reply brief is an important document,” he pronounces. It’s “the last word” that the judges will read. It should consist of “short, declarative, punchy sentences.” Based … Continue reading
“All the identifying witnesses were speaking from casual observation of men they had never seen before, men of foreign race, under circumstances of unusual confusion.” Felix Frankfurter, The Case of Sacco and Vanzetti (1923). We recently watched an oral argument … Continue reading
The Chief Judge adopted the “groundbreaking recommendation” of the NY State Justice Task Force Report that from Jan. 1, all New York State trial judges must issue an order in every criminal case directing prosecutors to disclose evidence helpful to the … Continue reading
One of the great bulwarks of economic justice for online shoppers is the grassroots literature of customer reviews. A mix of testimonial, advice and social protest, customer reviews are the expression of the Internet Age from all walks of life, … Continue reading
If the wrath of the humorless is a satirist’s badge of honor, we’ve been awarded the equivalent of the Nobel Prize for our recent post “Are you a cissie?” The post (trigger warning!) is a spoof of compulsory workplace “trainings” … Continue reading
The biggest challenge of appellate writing is figuring out how to convey without actually saying so that the trial judge was an uninformed barnacle. Especially when the standard of review is that the judge is always right. The appellate squawker … Continue reading
Reversals are disruptive to a system that values predictability and productivity because reversal often means that the matter must be done over. Judge David Saxe, “Paths to Excellence,” NY Law Journal. We thought we were pretty earthy about the System, … Continue reading
Judges are always complaining that appellate briefs are too long or, as Judge Saxe wrote in the NY Law Journal, “turgid and prolix.” As the Emperor told Mozart: “Too many notes.” Now they’ve resolved to take up arms against this … Continue reading
Word is that California plans to make it a felony for prosecutors to hide exculpatory evidence from the defense. That’s harsh: to the prosecutor cerebellum, “exculpatory evidence” is a contradiction in terms. After all, the defendant is obviously guilty or they … Continue reading