Thursday, October 06, 2011

NOLA notes

Went down for the 5th Circuit Bar Association's appellate-advocacy CLE, my first visit thereto. Impressions of the program:

● If you’re doing a handout on good legal writing, try to avoid making it replete with errors, unless there’s some sort of prize for whoever catches them all.

● Your oral argument is not going well when Judge Haynes (my new favorite CA5 judge) leans forward and says, “You’re not in Texas any more, my friend.”

● Always ask for oral argument if you’re the appellant. Judge Dennis told the audience that nothing gets reversed without oral argument, and that the brief’s statement regarding oral argument is rarely put to good use by counsel. If you can’t point to some major issue or precedent, just explain why it’s important to reverse the district court.

● Judge Elrod and unnamed other judges begin reading with the reply brief. Yikes. My future reply briefs will all begin with a short introduction to the case.

Happily, Mrs. TBA was able to join me, and we had a good time on non-legal matters:

● We went to Chickie Wah Wah on Canal where Scott H. Biram was attempting to persuade us of the existence of “Texas blues.” We remain skeptical.

● The Delachaise on St. Charles has a grand selection of beers and liquors, including the previously-unsuspected Michel Couvreur Scotch whisky, “crafted and bottled unfiltered in our Burgundian caves.” Yes: French Scotch. The mrs. enjoyed the shrimp Clemenceau, but I would regard it more as a place to imbibe.

● Mrs. TBA’s longtime desire to visit Stella! was finally gratified. I was sorry not to order the $20,000 bottle of Burgundy, but perhaps next time (I will have to make do with Burgundian Scotch). The kind of place that convinces me the top tax bracket is too low, but well carried-off, and Dallas, Ed, and Carlos were good sports. Do stop by for a drink at their small bar to chat with Katie if she is working – that young lady is going places. Don’t miss Daiquiri Days Oct. 14-15!

● Our best find was Mimi’s in the Marigny and its regular Monday-night act, Meschiya Lake. The amiable proprietor at Crescent City Books was playing a jazz CD, and when we asked who was singing (sounded like some 1940s character to me), he told us it was she and encouraged us to see her show that night. Miss Lake is a poised young chanteuse whom one could indeed transpose with hardly any changes (fewer tattoos?) into a club of 60 years ago. Apparently we were some of the last to find out about her, as she’s been on the ascendant for some time. Her Lucky Devil album was not so good as her performance, having been poorly produced to our ears (the horns drowning out her voice), but don’t miss a chance to go see her when you’re next in town.

● Another restaurant on our list was Mondo in Lakeview, which was enjoyable; the interior made me feel I was in Florida. Pizza too greasy for my taste, but the bar made a fine Manhattan and it was a pleasant meal.


  1. I had Judge Haynes on my last argument down in New Orleans and she was fantastic. She had a line in the argument before ours that made me laugh loud enough I was worried I'd get in trouble.

    Click over to , and look for Dewey Weaver v. Texas Capital Bank (10-10835).
    Check out her point about service of process at 17:03.

  2. David refers to the following remark by Judge Haynes:

    "Well, I don't even understand this idea that, that getting served with the summons and petition is not notice. That is notice. That's how lawsuits get started in state court, been doing it since the beginning of the Republic -- it kinda works for me."