Legal News and Appellate Tips

Each week, TVA appellate attorney Tim Kowal reviews several recent decisions out of the appellate courts in California, and elsewhere, and reports about the ones that might help you get an edge in your cases and appeals.

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Tag: Legal Practice

Should AI Replace Law Clerks? Yes, says Adam Unikowsky

Adam Unikowsky, an appellate litigator with nine appearance in the U.S. Supreme Court, argues that judicial law clerks could be replaced by AI. We discuss:

💻 “AI will make judges release more accurate decisions more quickly. This is good.”

💻 Judges already rely on clerk summaries, so if AI produces better summaries faster, that is good.

💻 AI is a mysterious black box, you say? Well, law clerks are already invisible to the public yet influence judicial decisions without any input from the litigants.

💻 True, law clerks are human—but they are still often wrong. “Is it really preferable that judges receive recommendations and draft opinions from ideological 26-year-olds?”

✍ A writing tip: “Unclear writing usually implies unclear thinking. If something is unclear, it’s probably because I haven’t really figured it out.”

👩‍⚖️ An an oral argument tip: Don’t read from your notes. Adam relates a story when the Supreme Court stopped an advocate by asking, “Counsel, are you reading this?”

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How Does a Client Measure Success? Our Conversation with Outside General Counsel Lee Goldberg

Lee Goldberg joins Jeff Lewis and me for a discussion about his perspective on litigation as outside general counsel for his business clients. Lee shares his three decades of experience using litigators to solve business problems, and offers advice for trial attorneys serving corporate clients. We talk about Lee’s recent video series on LinkedIn (available at his website CalLawyers.com), and what a general counsel looks for when hiring trial and appellate counsel.

Some of Lee's lessons:
•On litigation objectives: " My client is never principle over business. Ever."
•On the most common mistake litigators make: " [When] they think that they have the only answers. Sit back, listen to your client. That is the biggest error that I see."
•On hiring the right litigation team: "Local, smaller, dedicated, smart counsel is what I look for."
•On trial counsel handling appeals: "I will never have my trial lawyers handle my appeals. Ever."
•On success: "The thing that people keep coming back to is success. Understand something, success is perception. Success is not a piece of paper. Success is an emotional feeling that you give to the client that they did the best they could in the situation that they had."

Would love to hear your perspectives.

Listen to the episode here: https://lnkd.in/gsteHnG8

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The Parable of the Principled Client

Client asks an attorney to file a lawsuit over a business dispute. "Your lawsuit has merit," the attorney says, "but it will cost more than it is worth. Based on […]

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