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

Monthly Archives: April 2011

Georgia’s New Evidence Code: How & Why We Changed

Posted in News

  Georgia is getting a much-needed change to its evidence code, and Colin Miller’s Law Prof Blog has the post I’ve been wanting to read about it. Professor Miller does two things really well in his post. First, he points out that Georgia is finally catching up with the rest of the nation as we… Continue Reading

Excellent Oral Argument on Lawyer Disqualification

Posted in News, Oral Argument

I’ve been following this case closely because the Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers submitted an amicus brief on behalf of the Appellant.  In a nutshell, the trial court disqualified the former DeKalb School Superintendant’s law firm where there actually was no conflic; rather, there was the speculative potential for a conflict where the clients… Continue Reading

How Can You Defend These People?

Posted in Attorney-Client Relationship, News

I’ve watched with interest the news regarding former Solicitor General Paul Clement’s resignation from King & Spalding, after the firm moved to withdraw from its representation of House Republicans in defense of the federal statute that prohibits same sex marriage.  Every criminal defense lawyer should learn as much as possible about this story and save… Continue Reading

Making the Most of Your Georgia Prison Visit

Posted in Attorney-Client Relationship

As I’ve mentioned before, I make many prison visits. It’s part of the job in Georgia appellate practice. All the appellate courts, the parole board, and most of the counties where convictions originate are in or near Atlanta. And most of the prisons are south of Macon. I’ve learned some things over time about how… Continue Reading

Read Steven Pressfield’s New Book if You Want to Write Better Briefs

Posted in Writing

Appellate writers face some of the same challenges that novelists and other artists face. Those things include procrastination, anxiety, self-defeating thoughts, and even alcoholism and other types of drug abuse. A brief is a peculiar type of artistic endeavor, and such things are tough. To make things worse, if you represent the appellant, the finder… Continue Reading

The Changing Craft of the Appellate Brief

Posted in Writing

Ben Kerschberg, wrote yesterday about his experience as a paralegal in the mid-90s in the appellate litigation section of Sidley Austin. More particularly, he wrote about the process of getting briefs ready to file in the United States Supreme Court in the pre-pdf era. True, the technology has now developed to the extent that it… Continue Reading

Three Things You Should Know About Parole in Georgia

Posted in Parole

A few days ago, I met with two perspective families of potential parole clients. They had different kinds of problems. I had seen both problems before. The first had a loved one who was ten years into a twenty-year sentence for armed robbery. The second had a loved one who was puzzled that he had… Continue Reading

How Much Longer Before The Georgia Appellate Court Rules?

Posted in Attorney-Client Relationship, Georgia Court of Appeals, Oral Argument, Supreme Court of Georgia

As a father of three children (one still in a car seat and one in a booster) and as an appeals lawyer in Georgia, I get two recurring and related questions. From the children, on car trips, I frequently hear, “Are we there yet?” From my clients and their families, I frequently hear, “when will… 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

Handling Criticism Gracefully is Part of Criminal Appellate Practice

Posted in Attorney-Client Relationship

A colleague of mine who has a thriving domestic practice tells me that, at the end of many divorce cases, two people often hate him – the ex-spouse and the client. He’s a great lawyer, so the ex-spouse part of that equation does not surprise me. As I think about the nature of domestic practice… Continue Reading