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MidnightSon117
10-27-2010, 12:49 AM
I was just going over the latest 2A news, and I saw "en banc panel". I have no idea what this means. I'm going to look it up, but can some of the more savvy-members explain some of the more common terms we see? Maybe something of a primer before reading.

For example, I'd like to know if there's a difference between an Amicus brief and an Amicus curiae brief, how it is used in a case. Is an Amicus brief filed by the plaintiff? What does Petition for certiorari do, and why did Chicago oppose it? I understand there's a lot of information out there, but I figure at least these terms explained by someone who is well-versed in their usage can elevate the overall knowledge of the members, who are getting more informed by the day.

I mean, when I joined a few years ago, I'd just be worried about why I had to have a secret meeting with an FFL just to get one of those lowers, kinda like evading the Gestapo, and wondering the legality of it all. Now, here we are :)

Turo
10-27-2010, 1:28 AM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/En_banc
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amicus_curiae
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Certiorari
These explain them pretty well, at least for a layman like me.

MidnightSon117
10-27-2010, 2:19 AM
I'd just like to have someone explain it from here who has it applied to 2A issues, using 2A examples. Plus, wikipedia can be a little bit off sometimes.

Librarian
10-27-2010, 8:43 AM
I was just going over the latest 2A news, and I saw "en banc panel". I have no idea what this means. I'm going to look it up, but can some of the more savvy-members explain some of the more common terms we see? Maybe something of a primer before reading.

For example, I'd like to know if there's a difference between an Amicus brief and an Amicus curiae brief, how it is used in a case. Is an Amicus brief filed by the plaintiff? What does Petition for certiorari do, and why did Chicago oppose it? I understand there's a lot of information out there, but I figure at least these terms explained by someone who is well-versed in their usage can elevate the overall knowledge of the members, who are getting more informed by the day.


Wikipedia is pretty good on those 3 - in general, when there is some controversy it's advisable to read carefully for 'spin', but for facts, it's a decent place to start looking.

Briefly, 'en banc (http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/en+banc)' is a hearing where the entire roster of justices hears a case, rather than a customary 3-judge panel. The 9th Circuit is so large they use a sub-set.

'amicus (http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/amicus)' is just short for 'amicus curiae' - 'amicus' means 'friend'. Those briefs are filed by 'friends' of either appellant (http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/appellant) or appellee (http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/appellee).

'Petition for certiorari (http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/certiorari) ' asks the Supreme Court to hear a case (usually - in general it is a request that a 'higher' court hear a case brought in a 'lower' court) - they're free to refuse, and almost always do. Chicago opposed the Supremes hearing their case, because they had a result they liked already at 7th Circuit.

RickD427
10-27-2010, 7:50 PM
+1 to "Libarian's" posting.

It's always insightful to look at "En Banc" cases. While we always want to think that the law is straightforward and clear. It really isn't. That's why appellate rulings come with split decisions and dissenting opinions. This stuff just isn't always clear. That's frustrating to everyone, and it can be especially frustrating to LEO's. We're normally expected to know how these courts are going to rule in advance, and we're faulted when we predict wrongly. To make things worse, my crystal ball stopped working a few years ago.

The Federal Circuit Courts of Appeal normally hear cases using panels of three judges. If a three judge panel issues a ruling that really seems to "miss the mark", a majority of the judges of the court can vote to hear the case "En Banc", meaning that the entire court will re-hear the case and that normally produces a revised ruling (Because the 9th Circuit is so large, it hears "En Banc" cases using an 11 judge panel).

The really notable point is that it takes a majority of the court to support an "En Banc" hearing. That effectively means that a majority of the court was not satisfied with the original ruling. Unless some of the judges who voted for the re-hearing are persuaded to change their minds based on the information presented during the hearing, you should expect that a "En Banc" hearing is likely to result in a revised opinion, otherwise there never would have been enough votes to get the hearing.

The 9th Circuit operates under different rules. They recently had a case on computer searches that was heard by a 3 judge panel, then voted for an "En Banc", then heard by an 11 judge panel, then voted for an "En Banc" re-hearing of the "En Banc" hearing of the original hearing. This resulted in the third different opinion from the Circuit Court of Appeals.

As a young officer, I always enjoyed watching the crooks to see all of the shenanigans that they could come up with. Now I get the same satisfaction watching the courts.

MidnightSon117
10-29-2010, 9:24 PM
You folks are much better than Wikipedia!

CaliforniaLiberal
10-30-2010, 6:08 AM
I was just going over the latest 2A news, and I saw "en banc panel". I have no idea what this means. I'm going to look it up, but can some of the more savvy-members explain some of the more common terms we see? Maybe something of a primer before reading.

For example, I'd like to know if there's a difference between an Amicus brief and an Amicus curiae brief, how it is used in a case. Is an Amicus brief filed by the plaintiff? What does Petition for certiorari do, and why did Chicago oppose it? I understand there's a lot of information out there, but I figure at least these terms explained by someone who is well-versed in their usage can elevate the overall knowledge of the members, who are getting more informed by the day.

I mean, when I joined a few years ago, I'd just be worried about why I had to have a secret meeting with an FFL just to get one of those lowers, kinda like evading the Gestapo, and wondering the legality of it all. Now, here we are :)



Amicus curiae means "Friend of the Court." Amicus for short. A brief may be filed by parties not part of a case -not the defendant and not the plaintiff - who want to have their legal opinion considered by the court. It may be a legal argument not yet raised by either party. It's up to the court to decide how valuable this argument is or if it has no bearing on the case.

Dozens of Amicus briefs were filed in the Heller case.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/District_of_Columbia_v._Heller#Amicus_curiae_brief s

The US Supreme Court generally gets to pick and choose which appeals cases it will hear. The loser in an appeal to a lower court may file a petition to have their case heard by the Supremes. If the Supreme Court agrees to hear a case they are said to "Grant certiorari." Or grant cert. Chicago didn't want their case to be reversed by the Supremes so they argued against the Petition to Grant Certiorari.

Thousands of petitions for cert are filed with the USSC every year and only a few dozen are granted.

Just take a couple of Latin classes and you'll be fine. Medicine has lots of Latin terms too, helps keep those Doctors and Lawyers egos boosted cause they can talk among themselves and no one can understand and we all think they're really smart.

Everything I know about this stuff I've learned on CalGuns or reading online for the last couple of years.

Kinda makes you wonder about all the stuff that 7 billion humans are doing on this planet and what a tiny, tiny bit we know anything about if it's not right in front of us everyday.

hoffmang
10-30-2010, 9:48 AM
One of the most important open secrets is how the Federal and State Court systems are structured and interact.

This is a decent overview: http://www.uscourts.gov/EducationalResources/FederalCourtBasics/CourtStructure/UnderstandingFederalAndStateCourts.aspx

-Gene

MidnightSon117
11-03-2010, 6:52 AM
One of the most important open secrets is how the Federal and State Court systems are structured and interact.

This is a decent overview: http://www.uscourts.gov/EducationalResources/FederalCourtBasics/CourtStructure/UnderstandingFederalAndStateCourts.aspx

-Gene

I gotta dig in for this read. I don't know whether to thank you or quit calguns. ;)