So the summer is over and it's back to school time – what's going on in the appeal world?
1. SJC oral arguments are going on this week after the August hiatus.
There are a bevy of Pierce Atwood-represented participants including one with yours truly. I always learn something when I watch somebody else's argument.
2. Sept. 29 the MSBA is sponsoring a half-day seminar on drafting pleadings and motions in Freeport.
Justice Levy and I will be sharing an hour talking about appellate briefs. The materials and discussion includes some pretty specific points, so I hope the presentation will be of pragmatic use.
3. In October, the SJC carries out its annual Tour o'Maine, riding the circuit to hear arguments before various high schools.
This year I'll be moderating one of their visits. I've never seen an off-site argument, so I'm interested just as a matter of general curiosity. After each argument, however, while the Court is conferring in chambers, there will be a short q&a for the students (this is the moderating part) to ask the participating lawyers questions. I will be interested in what sort of questions the students ask.
I always try to pigeonhole laypeople before an argument to talk to them about the case. I think every argument, no matter how complicated, should be able to be explained simply at some level, and that engaging in such an exercise — explaining your appeal simply to a lay person – can be a useful tool to keep the big picture in your brain during the argument, even if you know it will or could get very abstruse and complicated. After the fact feedback from anyone – lawyer or lay person – is always illuminating, too.
4. On the federal front, the District Court conference is October 21-22 at the Samoset.
The agenda has some interesting presentations. Use of social media is a theme – a topic of interest in both the trial and appellate context. I will blog away on the meeting (does that count as social media use?).
As always, if anyone has appellate news, comments sharing them are welcome.