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No news is, uh, no news: The Supreme Court Passes On A Second Opportunity To Address “Proper” Rule 59 Motions.

In his book, Five Seasons, great baseball writer Roger Angell relates the story of a game where, near the end, a hard rain began to fall.  It was the bottom of the ninth, the score was tied 2-2, the bases were loaded, and the batter had worked the count to three balls and two strikes.  The umpire reluctantly delayed the game for hours until the rain let up sometime

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Constitutional Crowd-pleasers

A couple of opportunities to enjoy some good old-fashioned state constitutional law history are now being offered.

First, the NC Supreme Court Historical Society and Campbell Law School have joined forces with Court of Appeals Judge Beach Bob Hunter’s Ad Hoc Committee to Observe the 150th Anniversary of the 1868 NC Constitution to give us all something special.  Michael Kent Curtis, Wake Forest Law School Professor of Constitutional Law,

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Unpublished Fourth Circuit Per Curiam Opinion Involving Pro Se Litigant Rights Moving Towards the Supreme Court on the Backs of Legal Giants

Note: much of the information below comes from The American Lawyer ‘s October 23 “Daily Dicta,” by Jenna Greene.

He started as a pro se plaintiff alleging First Amendment (and other) violations by a number of federal judges, an FBI agent, and a US Marshal.  Now William Bond has been represented by some of the heaviest of legal heavyweights as his case makes its way up towards the highest court in the land.  David Boies has agreed to replace retired Seventh Circuit Judge Richard Posner as counsel as Bond pursues a cert petition to the Supreme Court of the United States after the Fourth Circuit in August affirmed the trial court’ s dismissal of (then pro se) plaintiff Bond ‘s post-judgment motion to reopen his case and amend his complaint.   (Posner represented Bond in the Fourth Circuit, but according to The American Lawyer “was not in a position to take the case up to the Supreme Court.”)

Posner, who in retirement has started The Posner Center of Justice for Pro Se’ s to assist pro se litigants, had argued to the Fourth Circuit that the trial court abused its discretion in failing to explain its basis for denying the pro se plaintiff ‘s motion for leave to file an amended complaint.  The Fourth Circuit disagreed, holding that the bases for the denial, although not specifically stated, appeared to be futility.   In an interview reported on by The American Lawyer, Boies stated that this case is important because of the pro se nature of the litigant; Bond and other pro se plaintiffs “deserve better than the court simply saying that they lose.”  This echoes some of Posner’ s recent comments.  The famous jurist has claimed recently in the forward to a book written by a successful pro se litigant (see here) that

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Come Hear Judge Bill Pittman Hold Fireside Chat with Moldovan Judiciary–Oct 22

Judge Bill Pittman and I will sit down for a fireside chat this Monday to muse about the private practice of law, with a view from the bench and from the bar.  As part of the Open World international exchange program, we will be hosting the discussion for the benefit of a visiting delegation from the Moldovan judiciary.   The Moldovan delegation is especially interested in how lawyers and judges are

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What’s Going On? In re Civil Penalty, Dissents, and a Call for the Views of the Solicitor General

Apparently Marvin Gaye is not the only one who wants to know. For those of us who live and breathe the appellate rules, recent cases issued by the Court of Appeals are providing more than ample food for thought.  The question that will not die is the extent to which the Court of Appeals is bound by its own precedent.

This issue was long thought to have been put

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