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Michigan Attorney General's Office is on the Roll!

In the practice of law, you develop a begrudging respect for an adversary who does a good job. You don’t love to admit it, but you know it when it happens. Conservative blogger (and Supreme Court brief amicus writer) Kent Scheidegger at Crime and Consequences recently blogged about what I had been privately thinking about the Michigan Attorney General’s third grant of certiorari in as many months:

“The State of Michigan has been remarkably successful this term in getting Sixth Circuit decisions in habeas cases reviewed by the Supreme Court.
Berghuis v. Smith and Berghuis v. Thompkins are presently being briefed on the merits. Today the Court granted certiorari in Renico v. Lett, No. 09-338, a double jeopardy case. * * * Is the high grant rate because Mich SG Eric Restuccia is an exceptionally good petition writer, or is it because the Sixth has been blundering exceptionally badly? Or perhaps a bit of each?”

Kent implies that the fault is with the Sixth Circuit. I believe that our state courts (caused in part by the underfunding of our appellate court system) that has caused the bad rulings. Kent’s blog misses (but a commentator picked up) that Eric might have a fourth cert grant. Metrish v Newman, 08-1401 has been on the conference for the 9th of October and has been sitting without even a re-list ever since.

What I do agree with Kent about (after litigating for many years against Eric Restuccia) is that he is a force to be reckoned with. He is a highly competent adversary and has obviously figured out how to write petitions that the Supreme Court will sit up and take notice of. I’m currently paying Eric the highest tribute by studying his petitions to see if there are any tips I can garner from his petitions to see if I can make my petitions more “cert worthy.”