Christopher Pooser

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Christopher Pooser represents clients before federal and state appellate courts, including the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the Idaho Supreme Court. His appellate practice focuses on helping clients assess their tolerance for risk on appeal and ultimately positioning them for success on appeal. He also works with trial attorneys to ensure the facts and legal issues are carefully developed and presented and a complete trial record is preserved for appeal.

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Need Reversal Rates or Other Data from the United States Courts of Appeal? Review the Statistical Tables at

I have been drafting an article on appellant advocacy for the August edition of the Idaho State Bar’s The Advocate. As part of my research, I reviewed statistical data from the United States Courts of Appeal available at The website compiles statistics, by circuit, on appeals commenced, terminated, and pending in detailed tables identified … Continue Reading

The Idaho Supreme Court Awards Attorney Fees on Appeal Under Idaho Code § 12-121 Against a Respondent Who Faced a Deferential Standard of Review.

When key issues are left to the sound discretion of the trial court, and the trial court carefully weighs the evidence in deciding those issues, should the party on the wrong side of the decision appeal? That is a difficult and recurring question facing appellants. A recent Idaho Supreme Court decision suggests that appellate attorneys … Continue Reading

Amendments of Idaho Court Rules That Impact Appeals from Magistrates to District Courts Go into Effect on April 15, 2015

The Idaho Supreme Court is implementing rule changes that will impact, for the most part, intermediate appeals from the magistrate to district court. Idaho Rule of Civil Procedure (“I.R.C.P.”) 83(a) lists the judgments or orders rendered by a magistrate that can be appealed to the district court. Currently, Rule 83(a)(4) allows appeals of “[f]inal orders … Continue Reading

More Appellate Practice Tips on Oral Argument and Attorney Fees on Appeal from a Panel of Law Clerks from the Idaho Supreme Court and Idaho Court of Appeals

As mentioned in a recent post, a panel of law clerks from the Idaho Supreme Court and the Idaho Court of Appeals provided advice on the practice of appellate law, based on their experience as clerks, at the April meeting of the Idaho Appellate Practice Section of the Idaho State Bar. Here are some observations … Continue Reading

A Panel of Law Clerks from the Idaho Supreme Court and Idaho Court of Appeals Gives Tips on Appellate Briefs

The Idaho Appellate Practice Section of the Idaho State Bar held its annual meeting on Thursday, April 9. As part of the meeting, a panel of law clerks from the Idaho Supreme Court and the Idaho Court of Appeals discussed what they have learned regarding the dos and don’ts of appellate practice during their clerkships. … Continue Reading

Proposed Amendments to Idaho Court Rules Emphasize the Absolute Importance of Securing a Final Judgment and Fundamentally Change When a Party Can Obtain an I.R.C.P. 54(B) Certificate

We recently posted blog entries on the continuing saga of Idaho’s final judgment rule. See Feb. 9, 2015 Post; Feb. 12, 2014 Post. As discussed there, the Idaho Supreme Court has repeatedly emphasized that it will not hear an appeal unless a proper final judgment is entered under Idaho Rule of Civil Procedure (“I.R.C.P.”) 54(a). … Continue Reading

The Idaho Supreme Court Refuses to Consider a Key Argument in an Appeal from the Idaho Industrial Commission Because Appellant Failed to Preserve Allegations of Error

LuAnn Shubert (“Shubert”) filed a workers’ compensation claim with the Idaho Industrial Commission (the “Commission”). Shubert’s claim was heard by a Commission referee, who excluded two of her exhibits during the hearing. For the most part, the referee denied her claim, and the Commission approved and adopted the referee’s findings of fact. Shubert appealed. One … Continue Reading

In Two Recent Decisions, the Idaho Supreme Court Finds Attorney Fees On Appeal are Awardable Under Idaho Code § 12-117(1) when a Party Advances Arguments that Disregard the Plain Language of a Statute

The Idaho Supreme Court’s decisions in Jayo Development, Inc. v. Ada County Board of Equalization, 2015 Opinion No. 25 (Feb. 26, 2015) and Arnold v. City of Stanley, 2015 Opinion No. 23 (Feb. 26, 2015), add something for appellate attorneys to consider when involved in proceedings where a person is adverse to a state agency … Continue Reading

The Idaho Supreme Court Refuses to Consider a Request for Attorney Fees on Appeal Because the Party Seeking Fees Did Not Address the Request in the Argument Section of Its Appeal Brief

Nampa Education Ass’n v. Nampa School District. No. 131, 2015 Opinion No. 22 (Feb. 26, 2015), is yet another recent case involving a request for attorney fees under Idaho Code § 12-117. There the Idaho Supreme Court refused to consider the request because the Nampa Education Association, the prevailing party on appeal, failed to address … Continue Reading

Failing to Prepare and Present a Well-Grounded Appeal before the Idaho Supreme Court Could Result in an Award of Attorney Fees On Appeal Under Idaho § 12-121

State of Idaho v. Grathol, 2015 Opinion No. 17 (Feb. 11, 2015) provides guidance to appellate practitioners on when an award of attorney fees on appeal may be allowed under Idaho Code § 12-121. Grathol is an eminent domain case. An issue on appeal was whether the Idaho Transportation Department, as the condemnor, was entitled … Continue Reading

Following Its Order in Cook v. Arias, the Idaho Supreme Court Orders That Any Judgment Entered Before April 15, 2015, That Was Intended To Be Final But Does Not Comply With Idaho Rule Of Civil Procedure 54(A), Shall Be Treated As A Final Judgment

The saga regarding what is a final, appealable judgment under Idaho Rule of Civil Procedure 54(a) continued today. The Idaho Supreme Court entered the following order: WHEREAS there are a number of judgments that have been previously entered that do not comply with Idaho Rule of Civil Procedure 54( a) or Idaho Rule of Family … Continue Reading

In Cook v. Arias, the Idaho Supreme Court Again Addresses What is a Final, Appealable Judgment Under Idaho Rule of Civil Procedure 54(A)

In Cook v. Arias, Dkt. No. 41745 (Feb. 6, 2015), the Idaho Supreme Court issued an order that continues the Court’s jurisprudence on what constitutes a final judgment under Idaho Rule of Civil Procedure 54(a). Failing to heed the lessons in Cook can result in increased litigation costs and delay the resolution of cases on … Continue Reading