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Welcome to our Appellate & Ethics Blog!

This blog will sometimes be scholarly, sometimes purely practical, and sometimes just musings by members of the firm on life in the appellate courts and on professional responsibility.

When we comment on cases, we do so with care, but you should always read the cases yourself before using them for any reason.

When one of us muses on matters, it may or may not reflect the innermost thoughts of the others. Feel free to ask.

If we talk about a case in which we represented a party, we’ll let you know it was ours.

We welcome suggestions, to a point, on relevant topics of interest and comments on the thoughts and suggestions we include on this blog.

But most of all, we hope that you learn from and enjoy these entries!

Broaden Challenges for Cause in Order to Abolish Peremptory Challenges

The United States Supreme Court recently reversed a death penalty conviction in Foster v. Chatman, where the prosecutor clearly exercised peremptory challenges in order to eliminate blacks from the jury. While the case is an extreme example of a Batson violation, I agree with Justice Marshall’s concurring opinion in Batson the best way to eliminate inappropriate use of peremptory challenges is to eliminate peremptory challenges. The history of their use since Batson simply shows that Batson has done little to control misuses of such challenges. Peremptory challenges have a long history more closely related to justice by combat than to justice by equal protection of the law. In no area of twe

Business and Legal Advice by Lawyers

It is easy to pass over Harrington v. Freedom of Information Commission, officially decided by the Supreme Court on September 6, as of little general interest to the practice of law because it concerns review of an agency decision. But in fact it is of considerable general interest because the Supreme Court starts its decision by stating that, when a lawyer gives legal advice mixed with business or other nonlegal advice, the applicability of the attorney-client privilege is an issue of law. The usefulness of Harrington is that it helps us decide how far the client can go in asking for nonlegal advice, and how far lawyers can go in giving it, and still be within the attorney-client privilege.

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