The Non-Existent Appeal

I've mentioned it before, but it doesn't hurt to mention it again.  I love this new blog Public Defender Revolution. This latest post is basically about how all the trial mistakes and regrets don't matter once you get an acquittal.

I tried a case about a year ago where anything and everything that could go wrong did.  I kept thinking, throughout the trial "Gotta remember this for the appeal."   Of course, I also made written notes of all of the really bad (and wrong) rulings the judge was making.  In my mind, while the jury was out, I could already envision the appellate court giving this trial judge the scolding he deserved. 

The case ended in an acquittal.  A really surprising acquittal.  Surprising to both my client and me.  And the judge.  And the prosecutor.  The court officers, who always at least act like they knew what verdict was coming, later confided it me that they were really surprised too.

To this day, I still have moments where the trial issues creep into my mind in an I-almost-forgot-about-something-important way, and I think "Oh my god, I forgot to note that issue for the appeal lawyer!  Oh wait, did I ever write the memo for the appeal lawyer?  WHAT?  DID I FORGET TO DO THAT?  DID THE DEADLINE PASS?  Oh wait... he got acquitted."

Followed, of course, by "How the hell did that happen?"


  1. I know exactly what you mean! I think we should be able to get an advisory ruling on some not-guilty verdicts--I'd even pay a filing fee in some cases.
    p.s. thanks--you've always been my blogging heroine.

  2. Wow! I guess it just hammers home the fact that juries are 100% unpredictable!