Winning

The title sums up my return to work after a lovely long weekend back home. A brief post to detail my successes today.

I read through the new appeal I was assigned, and everything looks relatively straightforward. The general argument is “Okay, federal law is nice and all, but you’re not in a federal court, and the court you are in has repeatedly and recently said that they don’t care how the feds handle this issue, they aren’t following the federal rule.” The issue isn’t a constitutional one, so the state courts aren’t bound by federal decisions. I have some research to do, but it shouldn’t take long.

On the topic of appeals, I stopped by the attorney’s office to review the edits he made to my “first” (actually second or third – but it was the first one *he* saw) draft. He had said that he just had a few nitpicky changes. I had been warned by the clerks that “just a few nitpicky changes” could mean “rewrite the entire thing.” I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the nitpicky changes were all very simple fixes. A few typos that I didn’t catch (whoops :/) and some phrasing issues that are more matters of style than anything else. (His style is more refined and professional. My style is occasionally “I started this sentence and don’t know where I’m going, but I’m going to try to get there anyway. How do you law again?”) But, really, no substantive edits. Fixing my draft took about 15 minutes. (In other words, it took longer to walk across the street to my building, get up the elevator, and log into my computer than it did to fix the document.) Once I made those edits, the law clerk helped me create an appendix, and we sent it off for final review. And got the go ahead (the lawyer sent it to the legal secretary to be filed, and cc’d me on the email.) So that is officially off of my plate.

Another attorney asked me to write a motion for him. I’d written two similar motions a few weeks ago. While asking me to write them, he mentioned that the two motions I’d written (opposing defense motions) won (the defense motions were denied). Now, he did have (brief) oral arguments on the issues, but I like to think that judges have their minds made up once they’ve read the papers. (Although, if I argue a motion that I didn’t write, my story might change.) Anyway, it’s nice to know that my motions were successful, and that I apparently did a good enough job (winning might have helped) that he wants me to do the same thing in another case.

And, finally, an attorney, who I prepped a case with (the misdo trial that didn’t go) and who heard me argue my (winning!) prelim, has said that she has lots of cases that will be going forward on Wednesday, and to stop by tomorrow to see what’s on. So hopefully I will have at least one more successful prelim under my belt by Wednesday afternoon. All in all, a good day.

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