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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!

July 10, 2020

Last month, Justice Gorsuch held that the 1964 Civil Rights Act extends employment protection to gay and transgender folks, because that's what the law says even if it's not what anyone who wrote it meant to do.  Bostock v. Clayton Cty., Georgia, 140 S. Ct. 1731 (2020)...

Yesterday, the Supreme Court held in a 6-3 decision, Bostock v. Clayton County, No. 17-1618 (U.S. June 15, 2020), that Title VII prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity or expression.  Much has been written on the s...

June is LGBTQ Pride month, which explains the appearance of rainbow flags everywhere.  June 12 is the anniversary of the Pulse Night Club massacre where a gunman killed nearly 50 people in a gay night club.  Nevertheless, on June 12, 2020, the Trump administration anno...

July 15, 2019

The Scottsboro Boys is based on an actual rape case in Alabama in 1931 where seven black boys were accused of raping two white girls on an open car on a freight train. The alleged crime occurred on March 25; the boys were arrested that day and arraigned on March 31 on...

December 12, 2018

               In early December, Brendon, Dana and I traveled to St. Thomas to address the annual meeting of the Virgin Islands Bar Association, Brendon on ethics, Dana on amicus curiae briefs and I on handing appeals in the U.S. Supreme Court....

            For a while on the morning of June 4th, my Facebook newsfeed suggested the sky was falling because the Supreme Court ruled in favor of a baker who refused to make a custom wedding cake for a same-sex couple.  The sky did have the potential to fall because a...

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...

            The First Amendment to the United States Constitution begins: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof . . . .”  The inherent tension between these two phrases was at play in...

June 26, 2017

           June 26 should be a nation holiday, at least for LGBT people and their allies.  Fourteen years ago today, the Supreme Court decided Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U.S. 558 (2003), holding that the right to privacy pr...

June 8, 2017

By: William R. Adams

George Washington Law School, Class of 2020

            Congress’ approval rating is at 20%,[1] but the re-election rate in 2016 was 95%.[2] How do politicians with such low approval ratings continue to get re-elected? One word: Gerrymandering. For c...

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