A recent dissent by Judge Kelly in an Eighth Circuit civil rights case highlights an interesting Constitutional fact. Prison inmates (and individuals remanded to mental health institutions) are the only people in the United States who enjoy a constitutional right to medical care. The dissent came in Avery v. Turn Key Health Clinics LLC. The
Michael Gross is an appellate lawyer in St. Louis, Missouri. In addition to his work in appellate courts, Mr. Gross frequently consults with and performs legal research and writing for trial attorneys before they file suit, during the pendency of their cases in trial courts, and through the mediation process.
Mr. Gross has represented clients in the United States Supreme Court, the Second, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, and Tenth Circuits, and the appellate courts of several states. He previously served as a member of the Eighth Circuit's civil jury instructions committee.
After graduating from the University of Michigan Law School in 1971 Mr. Gross served as law clerk to the Hon. M. C. Matthes, Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. He speaks frequently on topics related to appellate practice, legal writing, oral argument, and legal strategy and problem-solving at seminars sponsored by bar associations and other organizations.
Quoting judicial opinions can authenticate and bolster arguments in a brief. The problem is that direct quotes can get cumbersome. The opinion you are quoting may have quoted from another decision, which may have quoted from yet another. And so on.
Spend some time with Rules 5.2(e) and 10.6 of the Bluebook and you can…
Appellants try to get trial court judgments reversed. The basic job of appellate judges is to decide, case-by-case, whether a trial judge made an error significant enough to require that his or her judgment be overturned.
The tests appellate judges apply to make that determination are called standards of review. The applicable standard of review…
Missouri appellate courts take the structure of an argument heading very, very seriously. For decades the Missouri Supreme Court has prescribed the format of “points relied on” and insisted on compliance. Briefs have been stricken and appeals dismissed for wayward headings.
Lawyers have been rebuked in published opinions for presuming to take liberties. I know.…