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Do I Need an Appellate Attorney? Part 3: Considering a Third Option

In this three-part series, we’re exploring the various options for staffing an appeal. In part one, we touched on the pros and cons of continuing to have trial counsel handle the appeal. In part two, we addressed the upsides and downsides to having dedicated appellate counsel. In this part three, we discuss a happy medium that plays off the best of both worlds in the right situation.

Should religious employers jump on the “ban the box” bandwagon?

If your ministry asks potential volunteers or employees about any criminal record, do you need to throw out your application and start anew in light your state’s “ban the box” law? This post addresses how religious employers should be aware of “ban the box” laws and the changing legal landscape of considering criminal history in hiring.

Should I Request Oral Argument at the Colorado Court of Appeals?

At the Colorado Court of Appeals, any party can ask for the chance to present their case before the court at oral argument. But should you? While ultimately the decision whether oral argument is granted is up to the court, the initial decision of whether to ask in the first place brings up an even bigger topic. Does oral argument really ever makes a difference in the case?

Seven Ways to Waive Your Argument on Appeal

Waiving an argument on appeal is usually a bad thing. Here are seven things NOT to do if you want to set your case up for success on appeal. We’ve also included some practice tips to help avoid these pitfalls in future cases.

Part 6: Risk and Vulnerability

You raise several questions. The only one I’m going to get to today relates to how to prepare missionaries to go overseas—what kind of vision statement or consent to danger and difficulty would we recommend? Perhaps the most practical approach would be to have a waiver more like the legal documents that we’re familiar with, but have a paragraph in the waiver refer to the missionary’s own vision statement and acceptance of risk as part of that vision statement. Then each missionary could explain what he or she hopes to accomplish, why he or she is called, and why (or whether) such a calling is worth encountering disease, violence, or other disasters.

Recovered Memory Therapy is Dangerous for Therapists as Well as Patients

Recovered memory therapy continues to be a controversial topic, with experts debating about whether it is valid. As a legal matter, this controversy has slowly spilled over into an increased risk of liability for the therapist who chooses to use the technique. More and more states are holding that parents of children who recover memories of sexual abuse can sue the child’s therapist because the therapist has helped to create false allegations against them. Michigan is the latest jurisdiction to affirm the right of a child’s parent to sue the child’s therapist.

Courts and Churches—Interfering in Some Ways But Not Others

Not everything a church does to a pastor is outside the reach of the court. That is a recent lesson church officials learned in a case out of Ohio federal court dealing with the ecclesiastical abstention doctrine. Also known as the church autonomy doctrine, this is the principle that civil courts will stay out of the doctrinal and important decisions a church makes, such as the decision to fire a pastor or remove a parishioner from membership. This case, Barrow v. Living Word Church, et al.,1 is an interesting twist on the doctrine, and serves as a word of caution for churches.

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