The Young Lawyer's Section hosted its second Approach the Bench CLE on July 24th, this time at the State of Louisiana Court of Appeal, Fourth Circuit with the Hon. Terri F. Love.
The Judge began her presentation by going over the role of the appellate review, explaining how the appellate review serves numerous functions such as the correction of errors committed by the trial court, the development of the law and precedent to be followed and anticipated in future disputes, and achieving uniformity across courts. She went on to discuss the difference between appeals and writs. Appeals exercise the right of a party to have the judgment of a trial court revised, modified, set aside, or reversed by an appellate court. They are sought when the judgment by the lower court is final. A writ corrects erroneous interlocutory judgments made by a lower court and is sought when there is s no appeal or when an appeal cannot provide adequate relief and the ruling will result in gross injustice. Judge Love proceeded by going over a series of hypotheticals and had attendees decipher if it was a writ or appeal.
The first two things that Judge Love looks at for an appeal are when did the trial rule and when did the lawyer file. She said the most common mistakes a lawyer can make during oral argument is not reading carefully, not trying the case and only handling the appeal (if you are going to appeal counsel you should go through the record and do all the research or sit in on some of the trial), and talking about things that are not in the record. As a piece of advice, she said do not speak to the court by letters, but to file a formal motion. The seminar concluded with a series of questions and answers.