12 May 2004

So, you've been in a week long trial involving a couple dozen charges. You and the judge haven't seen eye to eye on anything. He's overruled all of your well thought out and impeccably reasoned motions and he laughed at your jury instructions. You have so many issues preserved for appeal that you can't count them all (you ran out of fingers). Exactly how many issues should you actually appeal?

Well, the book they handed us at Friday's CLE gives some guidance as to what appellate judge will think of your appeal based upon the number of issues you appeal:

Number of Issues               Judge's Reaction

1 to 3                              Presumably arguable points.
                                      This lawyer is primo.

4                                    Probably arguable points.
                                      This lawyer is primo minus.

5                                     Perhaps arguable points.
                                       This lawyer is not primo.

6                                     Probably no arguable points.
                                       This lawyer has not made a
                                       favorable initial impression.

7                                     Presumptively, no arguable points.
                                       This lawyer is at an extreme
                                       disadvantage, with an uphill
                                       battle all the way.

8+                                   Strong presumption that no point
                                       is worthwhile. To the lawyer:
                                       Go home. Do not pass "Go."

Good thing to remember for the future.

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