Friday, June 03, 2011

Sessoms v. Runnels (9th Cir. - June 3, 2011)

Sometimes you write a majority opinion and try to be pretty moderate.  Saying that it's a "close case" but that you come out a certain way.  Knowing that there's a dissent, and that the dissent is pretty reasonable.

Then, after you circulate your opinion, you read the dissent.  Which hacks you off.  Because you read your colleage as slamming what you've written.  Even if she's ordinarily an extremely collegial person.

So you add footnotes responding to the dissent.  In which you're not nearly as nice (or moderate) as you were in your original opinion.  Slamming your colleage in turn.

That, in a nutshell, is what it looks to me happens here.  The author of the majority opinion being Judge Tallman and the dissent being written by Betty Fletcher.

Read the opinions, including the footnotes, and see if you agree.