Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A New Section in

Ellicott's Eloquence is a new section of our website. It contains a quotation from Andrew Ellicott's January 18, 1801, letter to Thomas Jefferson. It is an amazing observation of the emptiness of Aristotle, and the fulsome nature of Euclid.

It is time to throttle Aristotle!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Electronic Filing sent email out today proclaiming:

"The DC-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has begun accepting electronic filings via the judiciary’s Case Management-Electronic Case Files (CM/ECF) system, joining every other federal appellate, district, and bankruptcy court in doing so."

While electronic filing is a huge step forward for the judicial branch and for the administration of justice, filing in Lincoln's era, whether by U.S. Mail, or in person, was fairly efficient (at least for the times). Air conditioning and indoor plumbing arguably were greater advances.

For more information check this link.

Interestingly the link does not list the U.S. Supreme Court as accepting electronic filing. I remember early in my legal career flying to Washington, D.C., to file a U.S. Supreme Court document. Flying was necessary if one wanted to use every day possible for research and drafting. Now one can certify date of mailing, and that will be the date of filing. However electronic filing lets one work until 11:59 PM on the deadline date without wasting time driving to a mailbox.

Here is language the U.S. Supreme Court was playing with in 2007:

"An electronic version of every brief on the merits shall be transmitted
to the Clerk of Court and to opposing counsel of record at the time
the brief is filed in accordance with guidelines established by the Clerk.
The electronic transmission requirement is in addition to the
requirement that booklet-format briefs be timely filed."

The current U.S. Supreme Court filing rule reads:

"2. A document is timely filed if it is received by the Clerk within the time specified for filing; or if it is sent to the Clerk through the United States Postal Service by first-class mail (including express or priority mail), postage prepaid, and bears a postmark, other than a commercial postage meter label, showing that the document was mailed on or before the last day for filing; or if it is delivered on or before the last day for filing to a third-party commercial carrier for delivery to the Clerk within 3 calendar days. ..." Rule 29. Filing and Service of Documents U.S. Supreme Court Rule 29.

   -David Hirsch

Monday, May 14, 2012

Understanding Lincoln

The May 2012 edition of The Federal Lawyer (volume 59 number 4) contains an article by David Hirsch and Dan Van Haften, "Law Practice From Abraham Lincoln to Now". Largely excerpted from Abraham Lincoln and the Structure of Reason, it is a fraction of what appears in the book. The article fills about eight pages in The Federal Lawyer. It is reproduced on

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Mr. Speaker!

January 1, 2012, Macabbee's Deli in Des Moines. Shortly before the Iowa Caucus. 
It was one of the most exciting conversations David Hirsch has ever had:

 Newt Gingrich walked in three minutes early. That is unheard of. Bill Clinton used to be at least two hours late (at least when I saw him). Other candidates average at least 30 minutes late.

The Speaker started shaking hands, maybe three seconds a person. I was about the fourth person he shook hands with. I thanked him for his clarity on the middle east, then told him I wanted to give him a copy of a book about Lincoln that I co-authored, pulling it out as I talked. He looked at the cover, and asked, "Is this the book on geometry?" I said, "Yes." He said, "I have the book on my Kindle. It has changed the way I give speeches." He said he would accept the book only if I endorsed it. I opened the book to the already endorsed title page.

Photograph by Dr. Alan Koslow