Appellate Procedure,  Briefing,  Legal Writing

Roundup: Skilling’s Brief

Former Enron executive Jeffrey Skilling’s brief in the appeal of his criminal conviction states in support of his request for oral argument that his prosecution was “perhaps the most prominent and publicized white-collar case ever prosecuted.”  One might guess he felt that way from the length of his opening brief: 237 pages and roughly 60,000 words.

The blog posts I’ve seen on this credit’s Law Blog post as the first.  It includes a link to the brief and credit’s Skilling’s lawyers for “some nice rhetorical touches,” two of which it quotes.  While that post offers some bullet-point analysis of the arguments made in the brief, those truly interested (but who dont want to slog through the whole brief) should read the detailed analysis at White Collar Crime Prof Blog.

Of course, as How Appealing notes, the court first has to approve Skilling’s motion for permission to file the lengthy brief, which is more than four times the length permitted by the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure.  To demonstrate the complexity of the case, that motion (PDF) notes that the record on appeal is nearly 47,000 pages long.

Ohio State law professor Douglas Berman at Sentencing Law and Policy posts about how this will likely stretch out the resolution of the appeal significantly.

The cleverly named Tex Parte Blog asks, “How much did that brief cost per page?”

Lowering the Bar’s take has the usual dose of humor, but is actually complimentary of the quality of the brief.

Finally, it’s interesting that a search for “skilling appeal brief filed” at Jurist reveals a single, two and a half-year-old mention of Skilling’s trial, but also advises: “