Jonathan Oberman, a professor who trains public defenders at Cardozo Law School, also scoffs at Vance’s reasoning. “There are conflicting stories from a witness?” he says. “Okay — then just apply the same standard to poor and low-income people and let them derive the same benefit.”
Appellate Wordsmiths Target Proposed Word-Length Cuts
By Marcia Coyle
February 19, 2015 LegalTimes - Nothing energizes an appellate brief writer like a proposal to shorten the length of appellate briefs.
Not surprisingly, a federal rule proposal to reduce the word limit for main appellate briefs prepared on a computer from 14,000 words to 12,500 words has triggered a wealth of opinions—mostly negative—from former solicitors general of the United States and the present officeholder, from bar associations and advocacy organizations, and from judges and practitioners.
Reducing the word count will lead to more motions for oversized briefs, some observers predict, and appellate courts, one commenter said, are generally "parsimonious" in granting such requests.
Two law professors offered early findings of an empirical study of appellate advocacy that looks at whether there is any association between appellate success in civil appeals and factors such as brief length.