For attorneys accustomed to practicing in the New York State courts, a case in the federal courts can be a daunting and uncomfortable prospect. The federal courts have a rhythm of their own, determined by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, and the Federal Rules of Evidence.
The same is true at the appellate level: an appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit will introduce an attorney to rules and procedures unseen in the Appellate Divisions and the New York Court of Appeals: the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure, local rules of the Second Circuit, case managers, and the Pacer System.
Making sense of it all is, however, important. As the sheer volume of federal legislation grows, more and more attorneys find themselves in the federal courts, and more and more attorneys must face the prospect of being in the Second Circuit whether as an appellant or an appellee.
But making sense of it all is possible: the Committee on Courts of Appellate Jurisdiction of the New York State Bar Association is offering two programs this month on Second Circuit practice, The Comprehensive Second Circuit.
The first program will be held Wednesday afternoon, October 10, in Syracuse, and the second program will be held Friday afternoon, October 26, in Manhattan. Both programs will feature experienced Second Circuit practitioners, and a Q & A session with judges sitting on the Second Circuit.
Information on the Syracuse program is available here. Information on the Manhattan program is available here. (Disclosure: I will speak at the Manhattan program.)
Programs which focus on Second Circuit practice are rare. Take advantage of the opportunity.
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Monday, December 14, 2009
While an appellate practice is generally more "relaxed" than a trial lawyer's practice because deadlines are more spaced apart in appellate courts, December has been more hectic for me than usual.
First, on December 2nd I argued a very interesting civil appeal before the Appellate Term, Second Department: after a judge has recused himself from a case, and another judge is presiding over the matter, can the first judge sua sponte "revoke" his recusal and direct that a trial proceed before him?
There is little case law in New York or elsewhere on the issue (probably because few judges try to undo a recusal), but the general rule is that after a judge has recused himself he no longer has any authority to do anything further in the case. That is what I argued, and now I await the appellate determination.
Second, on December 3rd I chaired the New York State Bar Association's all-day appellate practice CLE in Manhattan. About 120 lawyers attended. By all accounts it was very well received, with some attorneys telling me it was the best CLE program they had ever attended!
Third, on December 4th I appeared in Supreme Court, Kings County, for an extended oral argument of a motion pursuant to Criminal Procedure Law Article 440 which is related to a homicide appeal I am handling.
Fourth, on December 7th I filed a brief with the Appellate Division, First Department, which raises the question of whether attorney's "fees on fees" can be awarded under a judicial stipulation of settlement which provides for attorney's fees, but does not expressly provide for "fees on fees"?
Fifth, on December 17th I will appear before the Appellate Division, First Department, for oral argument of an Article 78 proceeding.
Busy, yes. But fortunately each case is unique, and each case raises absorbing appellate issues.