(Posted March 22, 2024) With no new business in the opinion mill at Ninth and Franklin this week, let’s take a look at a couple of developments this week.


April writ panels

The Supreme Court has posted a list of cases on the April 2 writ-panel docket. There are 46 appeals on the list, a healthy uptick from recent panels. (There were 29 cases in February, 28 in December, and 36 in October.) The number of appeals on panel dockets is a fair indicator of appellate business overall at the court, so this jump is nice to see.


A return to the keyboard

I was delighted to note yesterday that my appellate colleague and friendly competitor, John Koehler, has returned to posting analysis of CAV decisions after an absence of several weeks. John is a former court insider – something I never was – and he writes engagingly, making you want to come back. Instead of declaring analysis bankruptcy and just starting afresh, he’s catching up on the decisions that he missed. Welcome back, my brother.

This raises a question that I get occasionally: How do we appellate blawgers make time for analysis while handling a caseload? Contrary to the usual phrasing, you can’t “make time”; Chronos has stopped manufacturing that, and we get the same 24 hours in a day that you, the king of England, and every one of his lords and commoners get. Nor can you “find time.” The only way to do this right is to set the time aside, preferably in advance; you “block time.”

There will be occasions where life intervenes. Someone schedules a hearing for an opinion day and you can’t move the argument date; you get an invitation for an irresistible speaking engagement; you need to attend a memorial service (preferably not your own). In those situations, you shrug and resolve to make it up, just as John is commendably doing here.

Elsewhere, Juli Porto continues to provide her readers with terrific nutshell summaries of new CAV decisions; Thomas Chappell, a former law clerk to the current SCV chief justice, posts an occasional essay on highly useful topics; Jay O’Keeffe posts dazzling notes when he can. John O’Herron posted actively through last summer; I hope he’ll resume analysis soon. Here at VANA, the next post is always just an opinion day away.