Newsom Confirmed for Eleventh Circuit Vacancy

The Senate yesterday, in a 66-31 vote, confirmed Birmingham appellate attorney Kevin Newsom to fill the Eleventh Circuit vacancy left by the Honorable Joel Dubina when he took senior status in 2013.

Prior to his confirmation, Newsom was a partner with Bradley Arant Boult Cummings in Birmingham, where he served as chair of the firm’s appellate group. He formerly served as Solicitor General of Alabama. He is the Fifth Trump nominee to be confirmed by the Senate, and the first on the Eleventh Circuit. Check out Senator Shelby’s floor speech for more background on our new judge.

Second District Publishes Practice Preferences

The Second District Court of Appeals in October published on its website a brief but mighty Practice Preferences guide [.pdf] to assist parties in guiding their practice before that Court. The document includes three main sections: (1) Notices, Motions, and Records, (2) Briefs and Brief Writing, and (3) Oral Argument. The document is a mix of general appellate advocacy best practices and the specific preferences of this Court and its judges. Some of the most important practice tips:

Make jurisdiction easy to discern (See page 1, #1).

When filing a notice of appeal, include a copy of any tolling motion and the order granting or denying that motion, so the date of rendition is clear without having to look outside of the filing to determine jurisdiction.

No footnotes! (See page 4, #8).

The Second District will just take your footnotes out of the margin and pull it into the body of the brief to make it more readable for the judges. And whatever you do, don’t cite Bryan Garner style (sorry, Bryan). This Court hates that, and I have personally witnessed a Court sending a so-cited brief back to the party to re-file with inline citation.

Maximize Oral Argument (See pages 5-6).

Probably the most useful section of the Practice Preferences goes into detail about Oral Argument best practices: how to introduce yourself, answer the Court’s questions, don’t interrupt the judge, be conscious of your remaining time, know your record and briefs and law, and practice!

Whether you are in the Second District or any other Florida intermediate appellate court, the guide is a concise and helpful summary of some of the most common questions of appellate procedure and practice.

Badalamenti Fills Davis Vacancy on Second DCA

The Governor has appointed John L. Badalemnti, who until his appointment had served for nine years as an assistant in the Appellate Division of the Office of Federal Defender, Middle District of Florida, to fill the vacancy on the Second District Court of Appeal created by Judge Davis’ retirement. Judge Badalementi announced at the HCBA Appellate Section Luncheon earlier this week that he will start on the Court next Monday, May 18th. Congratulations, Judge Badalamenti.