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

Monthly Archives: September 2010

Stephen Bright’s Blog Launched a Few Days Ago

Posted in News

Heroes seem few and far between these days, or maybe I’m just being a little cynical. I’m listening to the audiobook version of Edmund Morris’s The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt right now and wondering why more political leaders are not cut out of something resembling a similar mold of intergrity and leadership. Since I’ve been… Continue Reading

Say That Again: Getting the Most Out of Hearsay Objections

Posted in Preservation of Error

If there’s one evidentiary issue that you will encounter in your next jury trial, it’s hearsay. It comes up all the time, and some lawyers and judges don’t have a firm grasp on it or its exceptions. Beyond that, trial lawyers often stop short of fully developing their record because they fail to make an… Continue Reading

What Does it Mean to Preserve the Record for Appeal in Georgia

Posted in Preservation of Error

I’m off tomorrow morning to speak to the Henry County, Georgia, Bar Association. The topic is a good one after wrapping up a week of trial. That topic is preserving the record for appeal. It seems like every seminar has the preserving the record speaker, the ethics speaker, and the professionalism speaker. You can tell… Continue Reading

More Appellate Lessons Learned from a Georgia Trial

Posted in Preservation of Error

On the first day of this week’s foray into criminal trial practice, I wrote about what a felony trial has been teaching me about appellate practice. Then a rejoinder form a commenter made me think that blogging during trial was not the greatest idea. Yesterday, the trial resulted in a mistrial. An hour into deliberations,… Continue Reading

Some Lessons from a Trial Appearance

Posted in Preservation of Error

This week, I am trying a criminal case. My practice is predominantly appellate, but I have brief forays into the work of criminal trial practice. And today began such a case. While it’s not appropriate to go deeply into the particulars, I think that jury selection today was particularly instructive. I don’t know whether this… Continue Reading

The Importance of Being a Good Witness at a Habeas or Motion for New Trial

Posted in State Habeas Corpus

There’s a side effect of having a robust appellate practice in Georgia. If you handled the appeal, and your client has a lengthy prison sentence, you will likely become a witness as your former client tries to demonstrate your ineffectiveness. In Georgia, the client has the right to effective assistance of counsel during the trial… Continue Reading

A Habeas Lawyer’s Duty to Discourage and Turn Down Certain Cases

Posted in Attorney-Client Relationship, State Habeas Corpus

Law is a business. But it’s not just a business. It’s a calling that brings with it certain duties to advise with the client’s best interest above the lawyer’s profit motive. If there’s a theme that runs throughout the stories clients and families tell me at consultation, it’s hopelessness combined with desparation and mistrust. By… Continue Reading

Why Appellate Judges Should be Appointed and Not Elected

Posted in Georgia Court of Appeals, News

Linda Greenhouse’s post on the Opinionator Blog at the New York Times website is disturbing. She cites a recent Pew Research Center poll where people were asked the current chief justice of the United States. To make the result even more disquiting, the test was multiple choice. And here were the choices: John Roberts Thurgood… Continue Reading

Dating Do’s and Don’ts for the Georgia Appellate Lawyer

Posted in Writing

Since I’ve started this whole blogging thing, I’ve made it a point to put fantastic bloggers who are great at it into my RSS Reader. Kendall Gray’s Blog, the Appellate Record, is a great resource even though he does his craft over in Texas. He always has something to teach me about writing, appellate strategy…. Continue Reading

Supreme Court of Georgia Grants Cert. Petitions in Three Criminal Cases

Posted in News, Opinions and Analysis

The Supreme Court of Georgia is back in full swing. The Court has already heard oral argument in several sessions. Yesterday, the Court granted certiorari petitions on three criminal cases. Each case has important implications for the criminal defense bar. While I am not entirely thrilled with some of the decisions the Court has made… Continue Reading

What I Learned from Supreme Court Information Officer Jane Hansen This Week

Posted in News, Writing

The August break for the Supreme Court of Georgia is over. The Court is back in full swing next week with two days of oral argument to be followed by more argument the week after next. Earlier this week,famed convicted murderer Lynn Turner was found dead in her cell at Metro State Prison. What do… Continue Reading

The “Great Trial Lawyers” Get Creative When Making a Record

Posted in Preservation of Error, Writing

I really loved Maxwell Kennerly’s blog post yesterday, Titled “Young Lawyers: Be Careful Emulating Great Trial Lawyers.” I loved the ethos though I am not wild about the application. Mr. Kennerly’s post is a reaction to another blog post offering advice for trial lawyers. Essentially, Mr. Kennerly wonders whether it is a good idea for… Continue Reading