RIGHT TO APPEAL NOT ABSOLUTE

RothLawAppeals

It is nearly expected that a party who lost at trial has the right to appeal. We never think of it as a conditional right, even though some pre-conditions are obvious, such as filing within a certain time — usually 30 or 60 days, depending on the state and the court. In civil cases, there is another condition. In order … Read More

LAW, NOT NPR

RothLawAppeals

I believe it is an NPR sketch that popularized the goof lawyer’s slogan “No claim too small, we love slip-and-falls.” But even “small” claims are full of pitfalls. Take, for instance, the concept of “causation.”  When one is negligent in carrying on a duty, such as, for instance, a merchant’s duty to keep premises safe, one is liable for the … Read More

THE DEVIL IN THOSE FAMOUS DETAILS

RothLawAppeals, Lawsuits

Everybody has heard how the devil is in the details. Having litigated a few contractual disputes after something went wrong, I can vouch that it is absolutely true. The problem is that, when writing a contract, no-one can anticipate every future contingency. Even two big corporations can mess it up. Take the case where the owner of an oil tanker … Read More

WHO SAW WHAT

RothLawAppeals

Will says that he saw Danny commit a crime.  The jury believes Will.  Danny is convicted.  That’s it then, isn’t it? Surely, once the jury believes the eyewitness, the defendant’s goose is cooked. But there is a wrinkle, and one that can still be raised on appeal if the proper record was preserved.  See, human memory is not always all … Read More

GOOD REASONS, BAD REASONS, NO REASON AT ALL

RothLawAppeals

We live in a country where, in most states, one may be fired for good reasons, bad reasons, or no reason at all. The bargain the law is meant to strike is that employees may leave at any time so employers may let them go at any time too. The exception of course is that one may not be fired … Read More