Here’s a question that has come up often enough that I suppose it merits its own post: What happens if the Clerk of the Court of Appeals does not properly notify the appellant of the filing of the transcript?

(Disclaimer: The Clerk’s office does a wonderful job! They are great to deal with! They probably

The Washington Post has a piece about Judge Luttig, opening with a lovely anecdote involving Justice Scalia. (But are we sure that Judge Luttig “clerked for [Scalia] at the federal district court in Washington?”) [Update: He did not! The Post has corrected this in its story. Also, autocorrect got me the first time around

Here is Kyle McNew on Colas v. Tyree.

On January 26th, the Supreme Court of Virginia issued its decision in Colas v. Tyree.  This was a tragic case where a police officer shot and killed Mr. Tyree, who was in the midst of a severe mental health emergency.  The shot followed a

The Fourth Circuit just handed down a new regulatory-takings opinion, Blackburn v. Dare County. Judge Richardson wrote for a unanimous panel that also included Judges Agee and Rushing. Here is the opening paragraph:

Joseph Blackburn, Jr. and Linda Blackburn own a beach house in Dare County, North Carolina. In the early days of the

For a few years now, I’ve taught a spring class at UVA on something called “Federal Litigation Practice,” which I interpret to mean critical motions and appeals. (UVA offers other, much better, classes about trial practice.)

Every year, we start the class by going over “How to Write: A Memorandum from a Curmudgeon” by the

The highlight of the VBA’s annual meeting this year was its Saturday panel on What We’ve Learned from the Expansion of the Court of Appeals of Virginia. Judge Ortiz and Jason Konvicka were the panelists, with Henry Willett moderating.

Here are a few takeaways:

  • Judge Ortiz is funny! I had not realized this. Also,

One of the nastier waiver traps in Virginia practice is the Drinkard-Nuckols rule–that is, the principle that if you unsuccessfully object to a piece of evidence, you waive that objection if you introduce evidence dealing with the same subject in your case in chief. (You can still introduce the evidence on cross-examination or rebuttal.)


It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these. Here’s what I’ve been reading:

  • Friday Night Lights by Buzz Bissinger. I loved this book and can’t believe I haven’t read it until now. It’s somehow both clear-eyed and sympathetic, and compelling throughout. My only regret is that coach never said, “Clear eyes, full hearts,