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2020 Winter Edition

A publication of the Council of Appellate Lawyers   February 2020

In this Issue

Thinking Like a Linguist

Rule Of Law

Thinking Like a Linguist

Justice Elena Kagan observed in 2015, while delivering the Antonin Scalia Lecture at Harvard Law School, that thanks to Justice Scalia we are all textualists now. Yet focusing on the text to determine the disputed meaning of words and phrases, whether they are found in a contract, a statute, or a federal or state Constitution, only begins to describe the inquiry that advocates and courts must undertake, rather than the method or methods that are best suited for resolving that inquiry.

Public Defense

Stop Assuming Money Bail is an Effective Tool for Criminal Justice

When is the last time you thought about the current bail system or, more specifically, considered whether money bail is necessary to assure court appearances by persons accused of committing crimes? For attendees at the AJEI Summit in Washington, D.C., if they had not thought about money bail before, they were sure to question the barbaric, archaic, and potentially unconstitutional bail system in America after listening to the panel discussion, “The Culture of Bail in America: The Real Cost of Pretrial Detention.”

Courts & Judiciary

Reel Appeal II: You Can’t Handle The Truth!, or Can You?

In the long awaited, much anticipated sequel to their 2016 panel, “Reel Appeal,” panelists Kirsten M. Castañeda, of Alexander Dubose & Jefferson LLP, Professor Paul Bergman, of UCLA School of Law, and Mark A. Kressel, of Horvitz & Levy LLP, led by their fearless leader and moderator, Hon. James E. Lockemy, of the South Carolina Court of Appeals, reunited for another presentation of movies, mayhem, and Model Rules of Professional Conduct.

Courts & Judiciary

Poetry in Motion: How Judges Write

Have you ever wondered about the inner workings of a particular court? Or how a judge’s workload might affect the resolution of cases on his or her docket? For appellate practitioners, answering these questions before oral argument could help litigants more favorably sculpt their presentations—or at least avoid doing something that may damage their case. Former law clerks can provide some insight on a court’s internal procedure or the preferences specific to a particular judge.