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Driving a Desaccord

Who knew that appellate law would be one of the fastest-developing areas of practice across the country this fall?

In August, a judge of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals filed an opinion “dubitante.” Translation: He was dubious. He didn’t like the result and didn’t really want to concur. But he didn’t really want to overturn the result either.

Now, the chief judge of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has carved out yet another possibility that can take its place alongside “concur” and “dissent” and “dubitante.”

In a hopelessly fractured immigration case, Garfias-Rodriguez v. Holder, Judge Alex Kozinski has filed an opinion that bears this header: “Chief Judge KOZINSKI, disagreeing with everyone.”

The California Appellate Report blog noted that the voting in the case, heard en banc, was 6-1-1-1-1-1. There were six different opinions filed, including Kozonski’s disagreement.

If the judge wants to create a new brand of opinion, seems like it needs a catchy name. “Dubitante” sounds kind of French, even though it actually comes from Latin.

How about “desaccord,” since that’s the French word for “disagreement.” Sounds sufficiently legal, too.

Give the blog How Appealing props for first reporting this case; the Law Blog of the Wall Street Journal has a nice piece as well.

It remains to be seen if the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is interested in an import such as the Desaccord. Smart money says maybe not.

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