CAAF interlocutory order entered in United States v. Diaz, No. 08-0535/NA, on 14 January 2010:  “On consideration of the motion filed by the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers for leave to file brief as Amicus Curiae, said motion is hereby granted.  The request to participate in oral argument is denied.”

CAAF interlocutory order entered in Diaz on 1 February 2010:  “On consideration of the motions filed by Pepperdine University Law School to appear as Amicus Curiae, to present oral argument, to file brief on behalf of Amicus Curiae out of time, and to allow appearance of law students, it is ordered that said motions are hereby granted.”

20 Responses to “CAAF won’t hear amicus oral argument from NACDL in Diaz, but will hear amicus argument from Pepperdine law students”

  1. No Man says:


  2. Fred says:

    It really steams my clams that CAAF will bend over backwards for some know-nothing law students (permission to file brief out of time…what a joke), but won’t let a REAL amicus participate in oral argument. What do some of you gurus think about this?

  3. Excalibur says:

    I could not disagree more, Fred. This is a wonderful opportunity for these students to practice their craft. And who knows, they may even help the side they’re arguing for. Some of you attorneys should remember how you got to where you are and who helped you get there. Kudos to CAAF for letting these law students participate!

  4. ManBearPig says:


  5. EXCELSIOR says:

    Most law students today are better than so-called “REAL” amici anyway.

  6. Robert Jackson says:

    I’ve seen this done as well at the 9th Circuit.

    Did both Amici write on the same issue(s)?

  7. John O'Connor says:

    I think it detracts from the seriousness of the proceeding.

  8. S G says:

    Throw them into the bog!

  9. Anonymous says:

    This is news?

  10. Anonymous says:

    This is a joke – both law student participation and CAAF going on “Project Waste Some Money.”

  11. Wendell says:

    Anon 0000,

    I’ve got to respect your honesty, I gave you the negative props you are seeking.

  12. Cloudesley Shovell says:

    I recall attending a CAAF outreach argument a few years back. The law student who argued blew both military counsel out of the water.

    I agree w/Excalibur’s comments*. So long as the school takes things seriously (which unfortunately does not always happen) the Outreach program serves an excellent purpose.

    * But maintain that strange women lyin’ in ponds distributin’ swords is no basis for a system of government.

  13. S G says:

    Admiral, Well done.

    As you well know supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.

  14. Southern Defense Counsel says:

    If they are going to have project outreach, it seems appropriate that they let the students participate. (As for the out of time filing, that’s a whole different issue – assuming the students had notice and could have filed within time I’d say bugger off).

  15. Anonymous says:

    What happened to Obama’s spending freeze? CAAF should not go on another oral argument trip for 3 years! Do CAAF judges follow the rules, or just make their own? Get with the program, out-of-touch judge dudes.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Can’t we just outsource our entire appellate operations to law students? Great experience for them. And since their “blowing us out of the water” anyway…

  17. Cloudesley Shovell says:

    S G–Thank you sir, and you are quite correct. Not that I have anything against watery tarts or women lyin’ around in ponds in general, you know. Except for the one who stole my emerald ring. Time for another field trip to Porthellick Cove!

  18. Dew_Process says:

    First of all, does anyone have access to the Pepperdine Amicus Brief who could either provide it to CAAFlog or tell us what issue(s) they briefed and their arguments? I know that the NACDL Amicus Brief was previously posted here.

    I don’t have any problem with allowing law students to file an Amicus Brief [even out of time], but to elevate them above a bona fide Amicus for purposes of oral argument is both nuts and demeaning to the Court itself. But, I suspect that it is the proverbial pay back for Pepperdine’s agreeing to host the Court. Strange process.

    In seeking permission from CAAF for Amicus status in support of Diaz, NACDL claimed a two-fold “interest” in the case:

    “First, the issues pertain to a core Constitutional issue, the Sixth Amendment “Right to Present a Defense.” NACDL institutionally as well as its members have a significant interest in safeguarding that right on behalf of our clients. Second, this case involves issues under the federal Espionage Act, 18 U.S.C. § 793, as well as security “classification” issues that arose at the U.S. Naval Station at Guantanamo [GTMO] Bay, Cuba.”

    Noting that many of its members were either defending GTMO prisoners or were involved in on-going Espionage Act litigation.

    And I totally agree that in this era of federal “belt tightening,” it is irresponsible for CAAF to spend appropriated funds for a winter trip to California [they are at Camp Pendleton the day after Diaz].

  19. EXCELSIOR says:

    Yeah, those CAAF travel expenses are really breaking the federal government’s bank. Much bigger problem than fat cat subsidies, starting a war in Iraq, etc. Get real.

  20. Atticus says:

    I did a number of outreach arguments and in only one did either the law students or an amicus do a half-decent job. The rest of them it was deer-in-the-headlights time.