Brief of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers as Amicus Curiae in support of appellant.
Argument: Because Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 4(a)(7) is not jurisdictional, it must be construed in favor of preserving a party’s right to appeal. Parties must have clear notice of the event that starts the clock running for filing a notice of appeal. Construing Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 4(a)(7) as starting the time running for the filing of a notice of appeal before the decision appealed from is available to the appellant thwarts appellant’s ability to consult with his counsel and to make an informed decision whether to take an appeal.
Brief of Amici Curiae In Support of the Board of Professional Responsibility.
Argument: The plain language of the rule, consistent with the board’s interpretation, requires disclosure of all information that negates guilt, not merely information that may qualify as “material” under Brady. Further, the language requires such disclosure occur in an expeditious manner. Public policy is served by having an ethical rule that does not merely track the constitutional minimum. The board has not engaged in improper rule making but has interpreted a properly-adopted rule.