The Jury Talks Back

1/13/2009

Appellate Advocacy Wisdom From The Great Kozinski

Filed under: Uncategorized — Justin Levine @ 3:12 pm

[by Justin Levine]

Attended an entertaining lunch this afternoon which featured a discussion between the great Justice Alex Kozinski and legal blogger David Lat.

I thought one of the most notable items to come from the discussion was Kozinski’s confession that he hates it when attorneys cite one of his past cases in their arguments and then points out the fact that he wrote the previous opinion in trying to score points in the argument for their current case.  

In other words, when you come into court and argue, “Well Justice Kozinski, as you yourself pointed out in the brilliantly written 1998  [case of Y], legal precedent clearly favors my client in this [case of X] situation.”

Kozinski pointed out that you really aren’t trying to ‘butter up’ a judge in that instance. What you are really telling the judge is “You better agree with me in this instance, otherwise you are going to be contradicting yourself and will seem like a total doofus.”  

Kozinski said he doesn’t know of any other federal appellate judge who likes it when attorneys do this either.  

Appelate attorneys have been duly warned!

Imagine Peace in the Middle East

Filed under: Uncategorized — Not Rhetorical @ 1:18 am

In the New York Times, Benny Morris writes:

Demography, if not Arab victory in battle, offers the recipe for such a dissolution [of the Jewish state]. The birth rates for Israeli Arabs are among the highest in the world, with 4 or 5 children per family (as opposed to the 2 or 3 children per family among Israeli Jews).

If present trends persist, Arabs could constitute the majority of Israel’s citizens by 2040 or 2050.

I know Benny Morris is controversial, but I don’t think this particular demographic assertion is — I think I’ve read it more than once elsewhere. (And even if this assertion is disputed, assume it’s true for the sake of discussion.)

It seems to me that in the best-case scenario — a cessation of fighting, and probably a two-state solution — this fundamental threat to Israel’s existence qua Israel remains. Even if — maybe especially if — peace breaks out tomorrow, how does Israel remain a democratic, Jewish state?

In other words, as the Times’ profile of the also-controversial Avraham Burg asks: What kind of future is there for Israeli Arabs?


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