De Novo: A Virginia Appellate Law Blog

De Novo: A Virginia Appellate Law Blog

Jay O’Keeffe practices with Johnson, Rosen & O’Keeffe LLC. in Roanoke, Virginia, where he splits his time between appellate and business litigation. read more

Tag Archives: Practice Tips

Differences Between Trial and Appellate Practice

Posted in Appellate Practice
As you’ve probably gathered by now, my job isn’t exactly rocket science. I read some pleadings, read some transcripts, read some statutes, read some cases, and then shout an argument into a dictaphone to be transcribed in 14-point type. In between, I drink lots of coffee. My colleagues who do “real work” here at the Firm on… Continue Reading

Free Appellate CLE October 19th in Richmond

Posted in Oral Argument
On October 19th from 3:00-5:30 p.m., the VSB’s Appellate Practice Committee will present a free appellate CLE at LeClair Ryan’s Riverfront Plaza office in Richmond. The Committee’s last CLE, or “symposium,” was by all accounts a big hit. Justice (let’s hope soon to be Judge) Keenan participated, and shared some sound observations and advice. I expect the October… Continue Reading

Howell v. Sobhan: Appellate Practice Points from the Supreme Court’s New Opinion

Posted in Opinions and Analysis
In Howell v. Sobhan, the Supreme Court of Virginia clarifies the law of proximate cause and gives us a new opinion replete with appellate practice pointers. The Case The plaintiff, Esther Howell, went to a gastroenterologist for a colonoscopy. He found 3 polyps in her colon, but was only able to remove one. The gastroenterologist sent… Continue Reading

Urban Legends of the Law: The Nusbaum Motion

Posted in Appellate Practice, Opinions and Analysis, Preservation of Error
My colleague and sometime coauthor, Travis Graham, is an eccentric civil procedure genius and all-around good guy. Among his other hobbies, Travis collects popular misconceptions of the law. He recently told me about a new urban legend making the rounds: the Nusbaum motion. As I understand it, there is a perception brewing in some corners of the bar that you need to file… Continue Reading

Thoughts on Oral Argument from Around the Web

Posted in Oral Argument
As a follow up to our earlier discussion about oral argument, here are some additional thoughts from around the web. Eugene Volokh spent a few posts last week blogging on Mayer Brown’s treatise on federal appellate practice, with items on oral argument here and here. These posts, and the comments they’ve generated, are worth your time. Two… Continue Reading

Practice Tip: Use the Standard of Review Ladder

Posted in Appellate Practice, Standards of Review
Appellate texts and practice guides recite solemn homilies about the importance of the standard of review (and with good reason–but that’s another post). We are told that that standard of review defines the strength of the lens through which the appellate court will review the lower court’s decisions. Our standard of review should not be cut-and-pasted boilerplate, we are cautioned, but… Continue Reading