August 26, 2004

Irreverent Observation

Sign seen affixed to homeless guy's shopping cart this morning while walking to office from train station:

Repent: Judgment is Coming

My thought in response:

That's why we have appellate panels.
Posted by Random Penseur at August 26, 2004 07:15 AM

In other words, we may be cast into a burning inferno, pending appeal??? :-)

Posted by: Mick at August 26, 2004 09:44 AM

I should have been more specific: that is why we can petition the appellate division for a stay of enforcement of judgment pending disposition of appeal.

Posted by: rp at August 26, 2004 09:55 AM

Someone here said this before, but I'm going to reiterate: Remind me never to argue with you.

Posted by: Linda at August 26, 2004 10:17 AM

Please do argue with me. Otherwise I would be terribly bored.

Posted by: RP at August 26, 2004 10:25 AM

Okay, if you insist! ;-)

Posted by: Linda at August 26, 2004 12:35 PM

Oh...thanks for the clarification...I think!

Posted by: Mick at August 26, 2004 12:47 PM

I'll argue: what is it with lawyers? You can never leave well enough alone. Lose a case? You can always cry to an appeals court, and then another court, and then another court. Why bother? If the first one is so wrong then why have it at all? Also I'm not really too au fait with many religions but as I understand monotheism there really isn't much of a Supreme Court sitting above God. Maybe it's not such a bad idea, but I just don't remember it being in the Bible or the Koran.

I've really got to cut down on the caffine. And pray to God the Bhuddists aren't right...otherwise I might come back as a lawyer myself!

Posted by: Simon at August 27, 2004 05:00 AM

Yes, well, every client feels that way generally until they feel agreived by a decision in the lower court. They have appeals courts for lots of reasons, including but not limited to, because appeals courts are removed from the immediate passions of the trial level; are more immune from political pressures; because trial court judges have a huge case load and sometimes get it wrong, they are only human and their errors are never divine and we usually need the appellate panel to forgive them. In fact, as for getting it wrong, the Civil Law systems usually have trials conducted by three judge trial panels, and you know what, they still need appellate panels to sort it out. If there is no appeal above God, perhaps there ought to be.

By the way, I usually find that juries get it right almost all the time.

Posted by: RP at August 27, 2004 06:11 AM

It should also be pointed out, Simon, that while filing an appeal is a matter of right within certain time limits, actually proceeding to appellate review is not automatic. Certain findings by trial level courts are unappealable, and the "standard of review" for the findings of lower courts makes reversal purposefully, and rightly, more difficult.

People complain about frivilous lawsuits all the time, but there is an important distinction between filing a silly lawsuit and actually surviving summary judgment (or the other various pretrial manouvers) to see the inside of a courtroom.

Posted by: David at August 27, 2004 11:53 AM

The appeal process only applies to Jews. After all, we have a long history of arguing the Talmud with G-d and each other, something that seems to be an alien concept in other religions, especially Christianity.

Posted by: Mark D. Firestone at August 27, 2004 08:19 PM
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