Thursday, November 29, 2007

Sekiya v. Gates (9th Cir. - Nov. 29, 2007)

Imagine that you're Venetia K. Carpenter-Asui. Happily practicing law in Honolulu. Nice life, right?

Maybe, in truth, you're not such a great lawyer. Maybe you're mediocre. Maybe a little worse. Of course, my impression in that regard is based upon a quick Google and Westlaw search. Still. Just imagine it's true.

You file an appeal of one of your (many) losses. You don't even get an oral argument. Instead, three weeks after the case is submitted, you receive a published, per curiam opinion from the Ninth Circuit that's short and to the point, but -- for you, at least -- not-so-sweet at all. The upshot of which readily appears from the following lines of the opinion:

"Sekiya claims that her supervisor discriminated against her on the basis of her disability, in violation of the Rehabilitation Act, 29 U.S.C. § 701, et seq. We strike Sekiya’s opening brief in its entirety pursuant to Ninth
Circuit Rule 28-1 and dismiss the appeal. We publish this opinion as a reminder that material breaches of our rules undermine the administration of justice and cannot be tolerated. . . .

Sekiya’s opening brief is so deficient that we are compelled to strike it in its entirety and dismiss the appeal. Cmty. Commerce Bank v. O’Brien (In re O’Brien), 312 F.3d 1135, 1137 (9th Cir. 2002). The brief fails to provide the applicable standard of review, Fed. R. App. P. 28(a)(9)(B), and makes virtually no legal arguments, Fed. R. App. P. 28(a)(9)(A). Furthermore, it lacks a table of contents, Fed. R. App. P. 28(a)(2), a table of authorities, Fed. R. App. P. 28(a)(3), citations to authority, Fed. R. App. P. 28(a)(9)(A), and accurate citations to the record, Fed. R. App. P. 28(a)(9)(A) & (e)."

The opinion goes on. But you get the point.

Not the reaction by the Ninth Circuit you were looking for, I imagine.