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Full-Text Articles in Law

A New Public Interest Appellate Model: Public Counsel’S Court-Based Self-Help Clinic And Pro Bono “Triage” For Indigent Pro Se Civil Litigants On Appeal, Meehan Rasch Dec 2010

A New Public Interest Appellate Model: Public Counsel’S Court-Based Self-Help Clinic And Pro Bono “Triage” For Indigent Pro Se Civil Litigants On Appeal, Meehan Rasch

Meehan Rasch

A variety of new “pro se” or “pro bono” appellate programs have been sprouting up around the country in recent years. Courts, bar associations, and legal services and advocacy organizations are implementing these projects to grapple with the challenges raised by increasing numbers of pro se (self-represented) and indigent civil litigants in appellate courts. Judicial operational systems designed on the premise of adequately counseled parties are ill-prepared to handle an influx of self-represented litigants, posing frustrations for both pro se litigants and court personnel. The expansion of pro se litigation strains appellate court resources and staff, but because of the ...


Rethinking Rule 59'S Appellate 'Waiver' For Magistrate Judge Adjudication Post-Olano, Meehan Rasch Dec 2010

Rethinking Rule 59'S Appellate 'Waiver' For Magistrate Judge Adjudication Post-Olano, Meehan Rasch

Meehan Rasch

In 1985, the U.S. Supreme Court held in Thomas v. Arn that a federal court of appeals may establish a rule that failure to file objections to a magistrate judge’s report and recommendations "waives" both the right to further review by the district court and the right to appeal the judgment to the court of appeals. The Arn majority determined that such a rule did not remove the essential attributes of the judicial power from the Article III court or elevate non-life-tenured magistrate judges to the functional equivalents of Article III judges. Rather, loss of the right to ...


Opinion Writing And Opinion Readers, Meehan Rasch Dec 2008

Opinion Writing And Opinion Readers, Meehan Rasch

Meehan Rasch

The authors - a federal appellate judge and his law clerks - bring unique perspectives to bear on the topic of opinion writing and opinion readers. The contents of this Article were inspired in large part by the work done by the authors in editing and preparing the second edition of Judge Aldisert's classic book Opinion Writing, which for many years was distributed to all federal trial and appellate judges, and to all state appellate judges, when they took the bench. A broader audience of professional opinion writers and students of the judicial process now has access to Opinion Writing, 2d ...


Not Taking Frivolity Lightly: Circuit Variance In Determining Frivolous Appeals Under Federal Rule Of Appellate Procedure 38, Meehan Rasch Dec 2008

Not Taking Frivolity Lightly: Circuit Variance In Determining Frivolous Appeals Under Federal Rule Of Appellate Procedure 38, Meehan Rasch

Meehan Rasch

The availability of appellate review is integral to our contemporary justice system and serves important practical and symbolic functions. Appeal as of right, while not constitutionally guaranteed, is assured by statute for the vast majority of final decisions by trial courts, and with good reason. For one, the principle of open access to the courts is a key value of American law. An accessible public forum for the adversary process ensures that grievances are properly heard and fairly disposed of. Accordingly, justice is best served when parties are able to comprehensively litigate their rights at every level of the judicial ...


California's Dueling Harmless Error Standards: Approaches To Federal Constitutional Error In Civil Trials And Establishing The Proper Test For Dependency, Meehan Rasch Dec 2007

California's Dueling Harmless Error Standards: Approaches To Federal Constitutional Error In Civil Trials And Establishing The Proper Test For Dependency, Meehan Rasch

Meehan Rasch

For forty years, California appellate courts generally have applied one discrete harmless error test for federal constitutional error in criminal cases and another for civil proceedings. In appeals from convictions in California state criminal cases, errors rising to a federal constitutional dimension are governed by the standard of Chapman v. California, which requires that these errors be proven by the state to be harmless beyond any reasonable doubt. The more lenient standard (for the trial court) of People v. Watson, which holds errors of state law and procedure harmless unless there is a reasonable probability that such error prejudiced the ...