The pursuit of justice does not always end with the verdict of a judge or jury. Along with the right to a speedy, public trial, we have the right to challenge an unfavorable verdict, to appeal our case to higher courts. But whether they affect us byMoreThe pursuit of justice does not always end with the verdict of a judge or jury.
Along with the right to a speedy, public trial, we have the right to challenge an unfavorable verdict, to appeal our case to higher courts. But whether they affect us by deciding our own case or, more likely, by ruling on a wide range of societal issues, neither the United States Courts of Appeal nor the state appellate courts are well understood. In this book, Senior Judge Frank M. Coffin, bringing over twenty-five years of experience serving the First Circuit Court of Appeals, takes all of us, citizens and attorneys, judges and journalists, inside the appellate courtrooms as well as behind the scenes into the judges chambers.
We see the wide range of appellate cases - from environmental, governmental, and criminal to cases testing the rights of handicapped persons, employees, prisoners, and others. We see how attorneys argue these cases - why some are successful, like the late legendary attorney Edward Bennett Williams, and how some lose, sometimes irreparably damaging their clients appeals by committing basic yet avoidable errors.
We are treated to an insiders rare view of the private work of judges - how they approach the practical task of reading the many pages of briefs, what they look for in attorneys oral arguments, their interactions with law clerks, and the collegial dynamics of the all-important decision-making process with fellow judges.
We see their minds in action as they write opinions that often open new legal approaches required by our modern and technological world. With much common sense, practical advice, and wit, Judge Coffin sizes up our unique court system as a major, and nowwell-portrayed, source of second-change justice for us as individuals and as a society.