Friday, February 23, 2018

More gun control?

     In a perfect world there would be no guns, or violence.  In reality, in the U.S. alone there are more guns than people.  Alcohol prohibition failed.  Drug laws failed.  Countless laws regulate guns already.  "Gun free zones" are the most dangerous places in the nation.  Police can or will only do so much.  So, to see if you really support more now so-called "sensible gun control," take this short quiz.

1.  If you and your family were locked in a room with 100 complete strangers, and only one person in the room had a gun, would you want it?

2.  If you were locked in the same room and knew others may have guns, would you want one, and if so, would you want the ability to shoot a lot of bullets or only a few?

3.  If you lived in a "high crime" area and were against having guns, would you agree to keep a sign in your front yard saying your home was gun free?

4.  If your answer to #3 was yes, would you agree to have the police periodically search your home (and computer and cell phone etc.) to make sure you had no guns, at their random discretion, or based on a neighbor's tip?

5.  Who do guns help more - the physically strong or the physically weak?  The powerful or the vulnerable?

6.  Do you agree that guns make people equal (because they level the playing field in terms of self-defense)?  If so, to the extent gun control also disarms women and minorities - leaving them even more vulnerable - isn't gun control anti-women, racist etc.?

7.  When you were growing up, were any of the guns in your house used to shoot another person?

8.  Do criminals obey the laws they break?  

9.  Do rich people and people in power - many of whom have bodyguards who carry guns - deserve more protection than you and your family?

10.  Can you think of any time in recent history - say the last 100 years - when bad people with guns oppressed good people without them?

     There are no right or wrong answers - just sensible ones.  Thank you for participating.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Why Do They Build Appellate Courts?

     "There's a reason they build appellate courts," is what my old boss used to say about cases we would consider appealing.  In civil and criminal cases, generally there is the right to one appeal of the trial court's final decision(s).  

    So, if the outcome of most any trial can be appealed at least once, should you appeal?  That depends on options (usually by this stage minimal), budget, time involved, goals of the case etc., and of course the chances of a favorable outcome.  The rate of reversal or similar is about 25% in state cases, and just over 10% in federal cases.  Far fewer cases end up at the highest appellate courts, like the applicable state or U.S. supreme court, mostly because those appeals are discretionary, meaning the appellate judges themselves decide whether to accept the appeal.  The likelihood of this is less than 10% (although once accepted, the reversal etc. rate approaches 50%).

     Appeals take time - framing the issues, preparing and filing the notice, compiling and reviewing the appeal record, researching law, drafting and crafting written briefs, preparing and handling any oral argument (also usually discretionary), and the like.  Two years to complete an appeal is not out of the ordinary.  Because time is money, appeals can cost many thousands.

     Many appellate decisions - the written opinion disposing of the matter usually authored by one appellate judge on behalf of a panel of three or more - are published and become precedent for future cases.  Transactional lawyers, regulatory lawyers and other non-litigators typically do not try or appeal cases, but they are guided by those precedents.

     Trial judges make mistakes too, and that is why they build appellate courts.

-courtesy of Sanderson Law, P.C., handling appeals, trials and everything in between, since 1992.  303-444-8846.