About Me

My photo

Reading is difficult. As a writer, I help the reader every way I can think of. As a reader, I work hard not to miss the big things in the middle of the road.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Avoiding the "Inadequate Briefing" Trap

One of the ways that appeals courts keep from deciding matters is to say that a point is inadequately briefed. For example, in the case of Campbell v. State, No. 08-10-00298-CR (Tex. App--El Paso, July 27, 2011) (mem. op.) it appears that someone tried to make a whole appellate argument for two points in six sentences.  Basically, the only answer to the appellant's arguments are that they were inadequately briefed.
Campbell complained that he wasn't sentenced immediately after he was convicted by the jury. The judge reset the case for sentencing until a later setting, and let him stay out on bail. I've never seen a convicted person allowed to stay out on bail pending sentencing. The temptation to do what Campbell did is almost overwhelming-- don't show up for sentencing. When Campbell was finally re-arrested and sentenced, he complained that of not being immediately sentenced after the verdict. I can hear it now: "You see, justices of the court of appeals, it's the trial judge's fault that I jumped bail; I need a new trial."
You can't just state your conclusion and slap a citation on a point. You need to give your point the IRAC treatment, like you did in law school: Issue, Rule, Analysis, Conclusion.

No comments:

Post a Comment