Academic journal article Journal of Appellate Practice and Process

A Look Back

Academic journal article Journal of Appellate Practice and Process

A Look Back

Article excerpt

I have been a member of The Journal's editorial board since the summer of 2001, making this, I am surprised to discover, the seventh issue with which I have been involved. The first six of those issues each included a special section--a group of articles addressing a single topic--that yielded its theme. We have focused on the evolving role of the solicitor general; the rise of fast-track procedures in state appellate courts; the difficulties associated with accessing and preserving sources of law in the digital age; the singular experience of arguing for the first time before the United States Supreme Court; the special challenges presented by post-conviction proceedings and appeals in death-penalty cases; and the legacy of Brown v. Board of Education in the appellate courts. And before I joined the editorial staff, The Journal published a special section surveying the unpublished-opinion controversy, and another that contained a tribute to Judge Richard S. Arnold of the Eighth Circuit. This issue is, then, both something unusual and something of a return to what might have become our standard approach: an eclectic combination of articles, essays, and notes with no unifying theme.

We will in our next several issues revisit the special-section approach, but we hope that this one contains in its mix enough variety to interest, challenge, and amuse every one of our readers. Each of the pieces addresses a topic of some moment, of course, but we are especially happy to have our lead essay, a gently funny reminiscence by Judge Jon O. Newman, who recalls in it the first argument he ever made on appeal. …

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