Patterico's Pontifications

11/29/2007

9th Circuit Reamage

Filed under: Court Decisions — Justin Levine @ 1:32 pm



[posted by Justin Levine]

Is ‘reamage’ even a word? Whatever. I like the sound of it.

Anyway, check out this dismissal of an appeal [PDF link] –

Sekiya’s opening brief is so deficient that we are compelled to strike it in its entirety and dismiss the appeal.

The brief fails to provide the applicable standard of review…makes virtually no legal arguments…lacks a table of contents…a table of authorities…citations to authority…and accurate citations to the record.

Sekiya challenges the district court’s conclusion on summary judgment that she failed to present evidence that would support a finding of discrimination or establish that she was constructively discharged. She does so by asserting that “Plaintiff-Appellant disagrees” and by providing this court with a list of asserted facts without adequate citation to the record and without any argument or authority on how these facts, contrary to the district court’s conclusion, would support or establish the finding that Sekiya seeks. Bare assertions and lists of facts unaccompanied by analysis and completely devoid of caselaw fall far short of the requirement that counsel present “appellant’s contentions and the reasons for them.”

Furthermore, the sarcastic comments made by her supervisor about her foot, though insensitive, do not rise to the level of a constructive discharge under our caselaw.

8 Responses to “9th Circuit Reamage”

  1. Wow. I figured she must have appeared pro se but apparently not.

    Moops (444e9b)

  2. Here’s a better link to the opinion.

    nk (09a321)

  3. Wow… I think the 9th cicuit just wtfbbqpwned her.

    Talk about harsh…

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  4. It’s really her lawyers that got wtfbbqpwnt. They should know better than to make conclusory assertions in an SJ brief.

    Moops (444e9b)

  5. Translation, to the plaintiff: Contact your local bar association about a claim against your counsel for a refund of your fees.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  6. To make matters even worse, her attorney has 10 years experience — admitted to the Hawaii Bar in 1997.

    And, its not like the deficiencies in the basic mechanics of putting together a brief are hard to figure out — 9th Cir. Local Rule 28: Contents of Appellant’s Brief.

    WLS (dfa1f1)

  7. A law school graduate should be able to write a better brief. I think I had to produce a table of contents and a table of authorities in a first year writing course.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  8. Jeez.

    I guess the law, like any other human population, has a normal distribution of talent, and “Venetia K. Carpenter-Asui” is somewhere near the left-end tip of the bell curve.

    I like the cite they pulled in: “we must insist that parties not clog the system by presenting us with a slubby mass of words rather than a true brief.”

    I mean, that’s a real smackdown, even if I’ve never seen the word “slubby” before. And then the judges reached past smacking down the lawyer, to add a smackdown for the client to the one she already had in the district court.

    That’ll leave a mark all round. I’d love to read the district court judgment and see what the trial (well, summary judgment) judge said. I bet that one left a mark too.

    I wonder, in what capacity the DOD ever employed this lady? She must not have been much better at it than she was at picking attorneys.

    (My attorney-picking algorithm: get the list of the specialists in the area of practice you need from the bar. Call three attorneys on the list at random. “If I couldn’t hire you, say because of a conflict of interest, who’s the best attorney I could get?” Usually three attorneys is enough to have a single name emerge two to one or three to zero. Once I get a name, I send the recommenders a little gift as a thanks for their time).

    Kevin R.C. 'Hognose' O'Brien (88bf29)


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