How Appealing

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

"Lawsuit: McCaffery Lawyer Decries 'Smear Campaign' by Inky; Lawsuit filing suggests ownership fight helped provide basis for lawsuit; Inquirer editor defends paper, reporting." Joel Mathis of Philadelphia Magazine has this blog post today, reporting on a Civil Action Complaint filed yesterday in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas by a Justice serving on the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania and his wife against The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Philadelphia Daily News, and several of the newspapers' employees.

And today at the "Big Trial" blog of The Beasley Firm, which is representing the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, Ralph Cipriano has a post titled "Star Witness In State Supreme Court Justice's 'False Light' Suit Against The Philadelphia Inquirer: Inky Publisher Bob Hall."

Non-Pennsylvania based readers may find it unusual that a Justice serving on the highest court of a state is suing one of the state's largest newspapers for defamation and related claims, but that is just business as usual here in Pennsylvania. In fact, frequently the newspapers end up losing these suits, so stay tuned.
Posted at 05:22 PM by Howard Bashman

"How the 9th Circuit Made a Terrible Supreme Court Ruling Even Worse": Damon Root has this post today at's "Hit & Run" blog.
Posted at 05:06 PM by Howard Bashman

"Gov. Snyder: Same-sex marriages legal but won't be recognized because of stay." The Detroit Free Press has this news update.

The Detroit News has an update headlined "Snyder calls Michigan's same-sex marriages legal but couples can't get benefits during stay."

And The Associated Press reports that "Michigan won't recognize same-sex marriages."
Posted at 03:08 PM by Howard Bashman

"Secret Service Agents May Get Shield From U.S. High Court": Lawrence Hurley of Reuters has this report.

Greg Stohr of Bloomberg News reports that "Secret Service Agents May Get Shield From U.S. High Court."

And at "SCOTUSblog," Lyle Denniston has a post titled "Argument analysis: Why not take the simple route?"

You can access at this link the transcript of today's U.S. Supreme Court oral argument in Wood v. Moss, No. 13-115.

Earlier today, The Statesman Journal of Salem, Oregon previewed the oral argument in an article headlined "Oregon at center of Supreme Court case."
Posted at 03:07 PM by Howard Bashman

In today's mail: I received the Autumn 2013 issue of The Green Bag, the contents of which can be accessed online via this link.
Posted at 01:52 PM by Howard Bashman

"What the legal fight over contraception coverage says about the Supreme Court; No one should be surprised when the court's conservatives impale this ObamaCare provision": Andrew Cohen has this essay online today at The Week.
Posted at 01:48 PM by Howard Bashman

"Supreme Court hears case against Secret Service": The Associated Press has this report.
Posted at 11:30 AM by Howard Bashman

"How a Lawyer Defied the Gay Establishment and Got Michigan's Marriage Ban Struck Down": Michelangelo Signorile had this blog entry yesterday at The Huffington Post.
Posted at 11:28 AM by Howard Bashman

"The Dark Side of New York Times v. Sullivan": Law professor Cass R. Sunstein has this essay online at Bloomberg View.
Posted at 11:27 AM by Howard Bashman

"Reflecting on judge's 'dirty old man' blog post and his take on women lawyers' attire": Senior U.S. District Judge Richard G. Kopf has recently restarted his "Hercules and the Umpire" blog, with a very good purpose.

However, being somewhat irrepressible, Judge Kopf cannot avoid stirring up controversy from time to time. For example, today columnist Erin Grace of The Omaha World-Herald has an essay whose headline appears as the title of this post. Grace's essay comments on Judge Kopf's blog post yesterday titled "On being a dirty old man and how young women lawyers dress." Today, in response to Grace's OWH essay, he has a blog post titled "Post Script to yesterday's (infamous) post."
Posted at 11:24 AM by Howard Bashman

Greetings from yesterday's poster child for bad legal writing, and a federal appellate court electronic filing protip: Thanks to a tweet yesterday afternoon from Georgia Court of Appeals Judge Stephen Louis A. Dillard, I came across a post titled "Don't Whine" at the "Brief Right" blog, written by Kirby T. Griffis of Hollingsworth LLP.

I enjoy good legal writing advice as much as the next person, and I have even attempted to offer some from time to time. Also, I am not a fan of whining, as certain people who know me well can attest.

Thus, I was amused to discover before the end of the post's second paragraph that the subject of yesterday's "Don't Whine" entry was a motion that I filed some two months ago in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in a case that I have previously covered here from time to time.

Although Griffis possessed a copy of the motion (writing at the start of the second paragraph of his post, "I have in front of me a rather routine motion"), and although a PDF copy of the motion has been available online via "How Appealing" since the day of its filing, the "Don't Whine" post fails to link to it. That omission, perhaps, is worth whining about.

Ultimately, as noted in this earlier post, the Third Circuit entered an order granting the motion in question and, more notably, my clients' petition for permission to appeal. Future key filings in the case will continue to be posted at "How Appealing" as they are made, beginning with plaintiffs' Brief for Appellants, due to be filed in mid-April.

Lest this post itself be accurately characterized as nothing but additional whining, let me conclude with a federal appellate court CM/ECF electronic filing protip. In the case in question, as in most cases now pending in a federal appellate court, attorneys are required to file documents electronically. The filing of a document occurs when an attorney uploads the document to the federal court's electronic filing system, which then automatically serves the filing on opposing counsel and makes the filing available to the judges and law clerks who are or will be working on the case.

In the Third Circuit, and perhaps in all or most other federal appellate courts, before an attorney can start filing substantive documents in a case (meaning documents other than case-opening paperwork), two things must happen: (1) the attorney must enter his or her appearance electronically; and (2) the clerk's office of the federal appellate court must take action based on that entry of appearance to enable the attorney to file substantive documents in the case. I assume there are good reasons for requiring step two of this process, although that inquiry is beyond the scope of this post.

In the case in question, counsel for defendant waited until after 6 p.m. local time on the date defendant's response to plaintiffs' petition for permission to appeal was due to file an entry of appearance in the case. Consequently, although counsel for defendant was able to file defendant's case-opening paperwork that evening, he was unable to electronically file in a timely manner defendant's response in opposition to the petition for permission to appeal.

And that probably made counsel for defendant (and perhaps others working with that attorney to complete the filing) feel emotions that one does not want to feel on the due date for an important appellate filing. But to later characterize the issue as a "problem with the ECF system that was preventing [defendant] from filing it electronically" (see footnote one) might strike some as a failure to take responsibility for a problem of one's own creation.

So here is my federal appellate court electronic filing protip of the day: Do not wait until after the close of business on the day on which a brief or substantive response is due to be electronically filed in a federal appellate court to enter your appearance in an appeal and then expect to be able to electronically file the brief or substantive response that same day. If you do, you very well may experience a "problem" with the electronic filing system that will prevent you from timely filing that brief or response.
Posted at 11:07 AM by Howard Bashman

"Mapping Supreme Court Doctrine: Civil Pleading." Law professors Scott Dodson and Colin Starger have this interesting video presentation online at vimeo.
Posted at 10:22 AM by Howard Bashman

Access online today's ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court in an argued case: The Court issued a ruling in one argued case today.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor delivered the opinion of the Court in United States v. Castleman, No. 12-1371. Justice Antonin Scalia issued an opinion concurring in part and concurring in the judgment. And Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr. issued an opinion concurring in the judgment, in which Justice Clarence Thomas joined. You can access the oral argument via this link.

Update: In early news coverage, The Associated Press reports that "High court bolsters domestic violence gun ban law."
Posted at 10:07 AM by Howard Bashman

"'Innocence of Muslims' Actress Demands Google Be Sanctioned; Will the web giant have to put up a $128 million bond for allegedly 'thumbing its nose' at an appeals court?" Eriq Gardner has this post at the "Hollywood, Esq." blog of The Hollywood Reporter.
Posted at 08:59 AM by Howard Bashman

"9th Circuit Affirms Ira Isaacs' Obscenity Conviction": XBIZ Newswire has this report.

And City News Service (via the Hollywood Patch) reports that "Appellate Court Upholds Obscenity Conviction of Fetish Filmmaker; Ira Isaacs was found guilty for producing, selling and shipping films that featured bestiality and defecation."

You can access yesterday's non-precedential ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit at this link.
Posted at 08:55 AM by Howard Bashman

"Abortion fight haunts U.S. top court hearing on healthcare law": Joan Biskupic of Reuters has this report.

In today's edition of The Wall Street Journal, Jess Bravin has an article headlined "Supreme Court Debates Contraception Requirement; Female Justices Repeatedly Pressed Challengers to Affordable Care Act Requirement." You can freely access the full text of the article via Google.

Michael Doyle of McClatchy Washington Bureau has an article headlined "Expect a close ruling as Supreme Court weighs contraceptive coverage."

Warren Richey of The Christian Science Monitor reports that "Supreme Court appears split in contraception case, with Kennedy in middle; The nine Supreme Court justices appeared split in a case about whether for-profit businesses must provide certain contraceptives under Obamacare; A question by Justice Anthony Kennedy, the usual swing vote, could signal trouble for the Obama administration."

Chris Casteel of The Oklahoman has an article headlined "U.S. Supreme Court justices hear Hobby Lobby arguments; U.S. Supreme Court justices appear divided over whether family-owned businesses like Oklahoma City-based Hobby Lobby can claim a religious exemption from health care law requirement to cover contraceptives."

The Intelligencer Journal/Lancaster (Pa.) New Era has an article headlined "Supreme Court justices appeared divided in Conestoga Wood Specialties case."

Bill Mears of reports that "Court majority harshly critical of Obamacare contraception mandate."

On yesterday evening's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered," Nina Totenberg had an audio segment titled "Justices Divide By Gender In Hobby Lobby Contraception Case."

Josh Gerstein of has an article headlined "Hobby Lobby case: 9 justices to watch."

Online at Slate, Dahlia Lithwick has a Supreme Court dispatch titled "Is the Contraception Mandate Doomed? It sure looks that way after the Hobby Lobby argument."

And online at The New Yorker, Jeffrey Toobin has a blog post titled "Women Justices Rock the Hobby Lobby Argument."
Posted at 08:36 AM by Howard Bashman

In Bashman news from Australia: The Courier-Mail of Brisbane reports today that "Three men pose as fire ant inspectors to bash man and woman in home invasion."
Posted at 08:33 AM by Howard Bashman

"U.S. Supreme Court Hears Bankruptcy Fight Over Inherited IRA Money": This post appeared yesterday at's "Bankruptcy Beat" blog.

You can access at this link the transcript of Monday's U.S. Supreme Court oral argument in Clark v. Rameker, No. 13-299.
Posted at 08:32 AM by Howard Bashman

"Lexington firm loses false-advertising case at Supreme Court": Michael Doyle of McClatchy Washington Bureau has this report.
Posted at 08:27 AM by Howard Bashman

"Kansas Allowed by Court to Stop Planned Parenthood Funds": Bloomberg News has this report.

And The Associated Press has a report headlined "Ruling: Kansas can strip Planned Parenthood funds."

You can access yesterday's ruling of a divided three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit at this link.
Posted at 08:22 AM by Howard Bashman

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