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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!

December 4, 2019

It's a common appellate refrain that you can't raise new arguments for the first time in your reply brief.  But what counts as a new argument?  For example, suppose you appeal and challenge a trial court ruling, explaining why it was wrong.  Your opponent's brief then...

August 20, 2019

Huge doctrinal shifts often have humble beginnings.  And we see them only in hindsight.  A recent opinion, Wilton Campus 1691, LLC v. Wilton, 191 Conn. App. 712 (2019), is likely just a blip on the radar.  But it may signal the start of a deeper change in how our...

August 5, 2019

I'm paraphrasing.  But that was essentially what Judge Christopher Droney of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals told a room full of appellate litigators at our last meeting of the Connecticut Bar Association's Appellate Advocacy Section.  Why?  Because no one will eve...

January 15, 2019

If the federal government passes a law that exercises no power, is that law in excess of its powers?

A federal judge recently answered "Yes."

See: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1CAbrWy7zvfUec-_8YWDh7H3bQr2-X4uH/view

Some Background. 

In Texas v. United States, a bunch of...

In 1959, Herbert Wechsler rocked the legal world with the radical proposition that judges should do things for reasons.  Herbert Wechsler, Toward Neutral Principles of Constitutional Law, 73 Harv. L. Rev. 1 (1959).  More specifically, he argued that constitutional deci...

Federal judges who take more than six months to decide a motion are shamed by having their names placed on The Six-Month List.  The List is published internally twice a year, on March 31 and September 30.  

A recent study shows, despite a noisy data sample, th...

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