Tuesday, December 13, 2005

I Just Learned an Interesting Factoid in a CLE!

NOTE: I titled this post aware that there might be some in the Cognitively Deficient Community who would seize upon the word "learned" and write something stupid like: "Intellectually incurious wingnut finally learns something!" Instead, you should focus on the word "interesting". While I have learned a lot of things in CLEs, I am confident that few of our readers would find something like "redefining per stirpes distribution of estates" even remotely worth reading.

Most of you are aware (or maybe not) that when an appellate court issues a decision, it can be comprised one or more of three different types of opinions.

First, and most familiar is the opinion of the court - the court's actual legally binding and precedential decision:

EXAMPLE:

...Therefore the court finds that the appellant's case is wholly without merit, and we affirm the lower court's decision. We also hold that counsel for the defendant is an ugly doodie head.

Second, most of you have heard of the dissenting opinion:

EXAMPLE:

...Because I believe that appellant's case was fully meritorious, and that counsel for the appellant is a straight up hottie, I respectfully dissent from the court's opinion.

Then, a decision may feature one or more concurring opinions:

EXAMPLE:

...While we concur in today's decision, I write separately to note that the three pronged test the majority applied to measure appellant counsel's hotness is fast becoming out-of-date. I believe that the court needs to move away from the so-called "Big Hooters" standard and lend more weight to the prong which takes into consideration ass lusciousness.

But what you didn't know is that there's is a fourth type of opinion that a judge or justice may issue: the "dubitante". A dubitante is the judicial equivalent of a punt.

EXAMPLE:

...I dunno. I s'pose she is kinda ugly. Can I have some pie now?

Here's a link to a recent case with a dubitante (concurring) opinion.

You'd think that a $75,000 law school education would have included some mention of this.

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