A milestone recently passed unnoticed: My 100th Argument Preview post. This week’s preview of the argument in Keefauver was the 108th such post.

I’d greatly appreciate any feedback you might have about these posts. In particular, are they objective? Are they understandable? Do they omit anything you want to see? Do they contain anything they shouldn’t?

Please either post your feedback here or send it to me (in confidence) by email to zack@caaflog.com

26 Responses to “Request for feedback: Are CAAF argument previews worth the time?”

  1. ScottComstock says:

    Not being a lawyer, I’m not sure I can give any meaningful commentary.  I’m just a lowly civvie-puke computer programmer that’s always been fascinated by both the military and the law.  I’d personally like to see you continue to do these argument previews, because I like reading not only those, but this entire blog as well. 

  2. Sea Lawyer says:

    CAAF argument previews are definitely worth the time. From a litigator’s standpoint, it’s always helpful to read or see a different perspective on your case–especially before you stand at the podium and get grilled by five judges (each with his or her own perspective). A fresh perspective helps with preparation.

  3. Burt Macklin says:

    Pedantic point for this cloudy Friday morning:
    It’s actually a lectern at CAAF (and almost everywhere else). 

  4. Stackhouse says:

    Z – I can only imagine how time consuming they are to create, but I enjoy reading them, they are very insightful and education (both personally and professionally).  I don’t know how you do it, but if I get to pick whether they stop or continue…continue to march.  And…thanks for the work you’ve been doing here since you’re moved to – what I feel – are greener pastures.  P

  5. k fischer says:

    Macklin, you son of a bitch…….

  6. k fischer says:

    I don’t read them, but that’s my loss.  If I was an appellate attorney, I would definitely read them to get your take on things before I argued.

  7. Stephen Wilson says:

    What Scott Comstoct said on steroids. I think they are fantastic and greatly appreciated by me and apparently by many others given the volume and content of comments. THANK YOU

  8. Zachary D Spilman says:

    Thanks all for the kind words. 

  9. iKennen says:

    My clients appreciate folks giving me all the feedback possible. Between your previews, moots and peer reviews at work, and my wife’s constructive criticism as regards my proposed arguments, my clients get a halfway decent lawyer on appeal.  I’ve also picked up an idea or two for my own cases not being argued by reading the argument previews you do for other cases.  Most importantly, I also think the sort of analysis that goes into the previews is important for public consumption by laypersons who might take an interest in a case.  It’s important that the public (and their press, especially) be told competently what issues are to be debated in their courts so that they can give those issues appropriate attention.  Your previews are the only source for such information for military jurisdiction arguments. If I had a suggestion it would be to include a layperson’s executive summary to each one of your previews explaining, in 50 words or less, why the issue granted/certified is important to the military justice system generally; and why the public should care.

  10. stewie says:

    Posts spark discussion. Discussion good.  Bread good.  Fire bad.

  11. Don Rehkopf says:

    I’ll second Stewie’s comments, but add some fine sippin’ whiskey as I read them!

  12. The Silver Fox says:

    Yes, they are.

  13. Tami a/k/a Princess Leia says:

    I think your argument previews are fantastic and definitely worth the time.  The preview gives me a quick snapshot of the issues, so I can quickly determine whether it’s worth my time (if I have the time) to delve deeply into the case by reading the briefs and the lower courts’ opinions, read comments, and possibly provide or respond to comments.  You do a great job breaking the case down the essence of the issues, so that even a layperson with no clue how our system works can understand what’s going on.  I also appreciate your position on a particular issue–even though I don’t always agree with you ;).  You provide thought-provoking analysis, which is always a pleasure to read.

  14. BCDief says:

    Absolutely keep them up.  Since I am not currently in a MilJus billet, I find myself checking this site almost daily to keep up with evolving MilJus issues, so that I am not too far out of the loop once I do get myself back in a trial billet.

  15. Charlie Gittins says:

    By all means, keep them coming.  You are doing great work, Zack.  I don’t have time to follow all the cases now that I have an in-house job, and your previews make it easier for me to follow the cases that are of interest to me. 

  16. Defense Wizard says:

    I think they are great. I kinda wonder how you have the time for all of this.

  17. ScottComstock says:

    @Defense Lawyer: One thing I’ve seen done is that someone will write a whole bunch of posts ahead of time, and let the blogging software post them at appropriate times.  I suspect this is why there’s usually some delay between the day an opinion is issued and the day a related post is made here.

  18. k fischer says:

    Scotty C,
    It’s Defense “Wizard,” not lawyer, although I would bet he is a lawyer since his former moniker was Defense Hack.  And, Macklin, you’re still an SOB.  TGIF.

  19. Scott says:

    Yes, they are worth the time!  Provide good background prior to oral arguments and also serve to complete the “post-trail”  (not post-trial) for research purposes on any given case’s case page. 

  20. Babu says:

    The time commitment must be crazy to do all this blogging, and you do it well.  You should probably start putting some banner ads on the website so you can start monetizing your investment.  As for what type of ads, given the large number of Army and Air Force JAGs who read this blog, Viagra ads would be a quick moneymaker.

  21. stewie says:

    Babu will be here all week folks…please tip your wait staff.  Try the veal.

  22. wowzers says:

    one of very few sites i would consider paying for. marketplace of ideas and a bathtub full of information. can’t beat that with a brand new axe. 

  23. Zachary D Spilman says:

    Again, thanks all for the kind words. Very humbling. Seriously.

    Babu– I will not monetize CAAFlog.

  24. Tacitus says:

    Absolutely Zack!  Its amazing to have a site that can quicky bring me up to speed to what’s moving and shaking in military justice!  Your analysis and summaries are incredible.  Frankly, I’m in awe of you.

  25. Sheila Lundlee says:

    As a legal “civilian”, I love how comprehensive your blogs are and I really like the comments posted by folks on the ground.  You rock, Zack, and if it’s possible please continue!

  26. Dave Roberts says:

    Agree with much of the above.  Reading the argument previews (and ensuing comments) informed my final preparation every time I argued at CAAF.  More than once, it appeared to have informed the judges’ questions, too!  Please keep up the good work.