Tag Archives: appeals

Refuting Fallacies on Appeal – One Way v. Only Way

This post begins a series on logical fallacies that I have run across in handling South Carolina appeals. My thanks to D.Q. McInerny and his book, Being Logical, for naming these fallacies and for its clear examples.

A statute that I dealt with a while back applied when a child is harmed.  Counsel for one of the parents cited cases applying the statute to parental beatings, arguing that the statute did not apply because the parent did not beat the child. Problem was that the statute did not limit who it applied to or the type of harm required. Continue reading

South Carolina Lets a $ 450,000 Verdict Stand

On Wednesday, the South Carolina Supreme Court declined to disturb a Court of Appeals decision that upheld a tort victim’s $ 450,000 jury verdict. Curtis v. Blake, 392 S.C. 494, 709 S.E.2d 79 (Ct.App. 2011), cert. dismissed as improvidently granted, Op. No. 2012-MO-043 (S.C. filed October 24, 2012).

On appeal, I defended the verdict by pointing to the Court’s limited, “any evidence” standard of review for a jury’s factual findings. Continue reading

Statutory Construction Canons with SC Citations

The last post outlined various types of legal arguments, including arguments from text. This post begins a series of posts on ways to analyze text.

In a recent book, Justice Antonin Scalia and legal writing guru Bryan A. Garner advocate what they described as a “fair reading” approach in which one determines how a reasonable reader, fully competent in the language, would have understood the text at the time it issued. The book, entitled Reading Law: The Interpretation of Legal Texts, lists with examples 57 canons of construction and exposes what the authors call 13 fallacies.

The book begins with five fundamental principles. These principles are quoted below from pages xi-xii of the book and are then annotated with South Carolina law. Continue reading

Appellate Briefs – 5 Types of Arguments

The last post gave an overview of an appellate brief’s argument section. This one covers  the different types of arguments that the brief writer may make.

Wilson Huhn, a Professor of Law at the University of Akron School of Law, authored “The Five Types of Legal Argument.” In it, Huhn offered practical ways to argue from the different sources of the law, identified the policies achieved by each source, and offered ways to counter each type of argument. Continue reading