Meet Judge Leslie H. Southwick of the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit (5th Cir.)


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When the late Ruggero J. Aldisert wrote Winning on Appeal in 1992, it became an instant classic in law school classrooms and appellate law practices across the country.

To celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of the book’s release, Tessa L. Dysart and Leslie H. Southwick carry on the Aldisert tradition of revealing the “nuts and bolts” of how to prepare an effective brief with the nuanced art of a delivering a persuasive appeal to the court.

Their meticulously rendered update is replete with dozens of interviews with leading appeals judges and practitioners—treasured guidance from a bona fide who’s who of appellate advocacy in America—and escorts readers into the “wired” courtroom of the twenty-first century, where they explore the benefits and challenges of melding technology with appellate advocacy.

With a Foreword penned by U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr., Winning on Appeal conveys the perfect blueprint for any lawyer who wants to win on appeal.

Reviews “I argued before Judge Aldisert as a young attorney, and I learned from the experience of trying to hold my own in front of the former Marine. I will certainly never forget those occasions. Arguing before Judge Aldisert was the best (and therefore the most demanding) Socratic experience imaginable. Woe to the lawyer who was unprepared or, worse yet, tried to pull something on the court!

But to paraphrase that famous Sinatra song, if you could make it arguing in front of Judge Aldisert, you could make it anywhere.

I am very pleased that Rugi’s teaching will live on after him in this new edition of Winning on Appeal. For new appellate advocates, this volume should be required reading. I wish that it had been available when I argued my first case.

For more experienced attorneys, the book contains advanced tips and reminders that may serve as a corrective against the bad habits that are easy to acquire.

For any attorney who wants to know how to win on appeal, this is where to look.” — Samuel A. Alito, Jr., Associate Justice, U.S. Supreme Court


Originally Published; May 10, 2007

Senator HATCH (Co-founder of the Federalist Society) Self Advertisement during Hearing

Well, the only thing I would add is, you’re clearly highly qualified. You’re clearly a very good person. You’re clearly a person who applies the law, regardless of public opinion, which is what an appellate judge should do. You’re clearly a person who’s learned in the law and you have the backing of the whole American Bar Association.

Now, I hope that, around here, being a member of the Federalist Society is not a disqualification because it is not a political organization. It basically stays out of politics.

The prime function of the Federalist Society, as I view it—as a member of the board of advisors, by the way—is to hold conferences where they bring people from all points of view, from the left to the right, to discuss majors issues in the law.  And they’ve done a pretty good job throughout the country.

Naturally, since it’s considered more of a conservative society than a liberal society, then naturally, I suppose, the Republican administrations have always looked to the Federalist Society for some of their leading lights in law, most all of whom are Law Review graduates from major law schools or from law schools around the country.

So I hope that, by implication, some of these comments don’t denigrate the Federalist Society, which I think does a very, very good job of helping to discuss the various ramifications of some of the most important decisions and laws today.

Now, you’ve made it very clear that you’re not here to defend the Federalist Society and that you had a limited relationship there.

I think the important thing here is that you’ve demonstrated here today an adherence to the law, even sometimes when it’s difficult to adhere to. And should you ever get on the Supreme Court of the United States of America, maybe you can make some of those ultimate fine decisions that have to be made.

But until then, you pretty well have to abide by the law, even if you would like to change the law, unless there is some give and take where you can change it. So this is important.

Laws In Texas is a blog about the Financial Crisis and how the banks and government are colluding against the citizens and homeowners of the State of Texas and relying on a system of #FakeDocs and post-crisis legal precedents, specially created by the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit to foreclose on homeowners around this great State. We are not lawyers. We do not offer legal advice. We are citizens of the State of Texas who have spent a decade in the court system in Texas and have been party to during this period to the good, the bad and the very ugly.

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