Georgia Criminal Appellate Law Blog Offering Insight and Commentary on Appellate Law and Criminal Trial Practice

Category Archives: Motion for New Trial

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New ABA Guidelines on Monitoring Jurors Via Social Media

Posted in Motion for New Trial, Opinions and Analysis

The American Bar Association has released a formal ethics opinion regarding how far attorneys may go in monitoring social media postings of jurors. Attorneys or their representatives may monitor any activity that is publicly available, but they may not “friend” a juror in an effort to monitor their private social media postings. Nor may attorneys… Continue Reading

The Judge as 13th Juror: Thoughts on the Fayette Rape Controversy

Posted in Georgia Court of Appeals, Motion for New Trial, News

Last week, a motion for new trial made news when Hon. Christopher J. McFadden granted a new trial after finding that the verdict was “strongly against the weight of the evidence.” The State’s reaction was three-fold. First, it appealed the decision. Secondly, the State made comments in the press. Third, the State moved to recuse… Continue Reading

10% Fewer Words

Posted in Attorney-Client Relationship, Motion for New Trial

I recently finished the audio version of Stephen King’s On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft. It’s geared toward fiction writers, but there is much to commend it to lawyerly writing. The best writing advice I have heard in a while was something that a publisher wrote on a slip rejecting one of King’s early… Continue Reading

What to Do When Litigating in “Foreign Lands”

Posted in Motion for New Trial, Oral Argument, Preservation of Error, Record on Appeal

Last week, I had a post-conviction motion in a county where I never practice. The motion is under advisement, so I won’t go into the particulars about it or what happened at the argument. I write today about the things I did before the hearing started and I plan to do those things even when… Continue Reading

New UGA Law Review Article Takes Georgia to Task for the Way We Handle IAC Claims

Posted in Attorney-Client Relationship, Motion for New Trial, News, Opinions and Analysis, Uncategorized

I returned from vacation pleased to find in my in basket at the office a copy of Ryan C. Tuck’s article from the Georgia Law Review on the confusing state of the law as it relates to ineffective assistance of counsel in Georgia. The article is titled “Ineffective-Assistance-of-Counsel Blues: Navigating the Muddy Waters of Georgia… Continue Reading

Video Arraignments are a Step in the Right Direction

Posted in Attorney-Client Relationship, Motion for New Trial, Oral Argument, State Habeas Corpus, Supreme Court of Georgia, Uncategorized

Above the Law has a good recent post on the use of video arraignments and how judges find that the process makes them feel safer. I don’t know whether video Arraignments make the process any safer or not. But the process certainly makes the process more efficient. In fact, many of the rituals of court… Continue Reading

The Client’s Right to Participate in Georgia Criminal Appeals is Quickly Eroding

Posted in Attorney-Client Relationship, Motion for New Trial

The state of Georgia once brought us the Leo Frank trial, the Andersonville prisoner of war camp, and a series of lynching over the years. I never knew that Georgia law was so traditionally weighted against the State. The legislature seems to think otherwise. Yet, the legislature of late has enacted new laws that have… Continue Reading

Help the Judge Help You at the Motion for New Trial Hearing

Posted in Motion for New Trial

When appellate lawyers talk about judges, we ordinarily talk about how wrong they often are and about how to preserve their mistakes for later use. Otherwise, we don’t much speak of the trial judge. Yet, at least in Georgia, every direct appeal begins at the trial court level where appellate lawyers have the unenviable task… Continue Reading

A Guide to Depositions for Georgia Criminal Appeals Lawyers

Posted in Motion for New Trial, Preservation of Error, Supreme Court of Georgia

A few months ago, the unthinkable happened on a habeas corpus case I am doing in South Georgia. The judge “suggested” that I handle some witnesses on a particular issue by deposition. There were all kinds of good reasons for it. The witnesses were spead out all over the State. I will probably get to… Continue Reading

Stop Treating Motions for New Trial Like a Rubber Stamp (Even if They Are)

Posted in Motion for New Trial, Preservation of Error, Record on Appeal, Writing

Judges seldom grant motions for new trial. I have various theories about why. And they range from being sympathetic to the judge to utter cynicism. Sometimes, there just wasn’t any harmful error. Sometimes, the judge couldn’t fathom that he made a mistake. Sometimes, it’s just too dang expensive to try the thing twice. And some… Continue Reading

What to Do if You’re Not the First Lawyer on the Case

Posted in Motion for New Trial, Preservation of Error

Another lawyer contacted me about a case she is working on. She wasn’t the trial counsel. She wasn’t the lawyer on the motion for new trial. In fact, one lawyer handled the trial. A second lawyer handled the motion for new trial. She was hired after the motion for new trial was denied but just… Continue Reading