Category: Idaho Appellate Practice

The Stoel Rives’ Idaho Appellate Practice Blog provides regular updates on appellate practice before the Idaho appellate courts. Our goal is to build a resource on the procedures, rules, and practices of handling appeals before the Idaho Supreme Court and Idaho Court of Appeals. We intend to provide updates on new decisions, rule changes, and other matters of interest effecting practice before Idaho’s appellate courts.
The summaries of the cases on the blog are prepared by Christopher Pooser, who practices in Stoel Rives’ Boise, Idaho, office.
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The Idaho Supreme Court and Court of Appeals Amend 2015 Fall Terms

The Idaho Supreme Court and Idaho Court of Appeals amended their respective 2015 Fall Terms.  Official notice of the amended terms was published in the August edition of The Advocate.  The amended terms look like this: Idaho Supreme Court Regular Fall Term for 2015 Coeur d’Alene ………………………………………………………. August 26, 27 Moscow ………………………………………………………………. August 28 Boise … Continue Reading

The August Edition of The Advocate Focuses on Appellate Practice

The Idaho State Bar recently published the August edition of The Advocate. The August edition was sponsored by the Idaho Appellate Practice Section and includes the following articles on appellate practice: To Appeal or Not Appeal: That is the Question, by Christine Salmi The Benefits of Engaging an Experienced and Skilled Appellate Lawyer, by Christopher … Continue Reading

Beware—if Your Appeal Asks the Idaho Supreme Court to Reweigh the Evidence, You May Be Subject to an Award of Attorney Fees on Appeal

In a recent post, we discussed Chavez v. Stokes, 2015 Opinion No. 64 (July 7, 2015), and the new standard of review governing the reasonableness of medical treatment in workers’ compensation cases. Chavez is also noteworthy for another reason: the Idaho Supreme Court granted attorney fees on appeal to the respondent worker because the employer’s … Continue Reading

Is the Reasonableness of Medical Treatment in Workers’ Compensation Cases a Question of Law or a Question of Fact for the Purposes of Appellate Review?

In Chavez v. Stokes, 2015 Opinion No. 64 (July 7, 2015), the Idaho Supreme Court overturned prior precedent holding that the reasonableness of medical treatment in workers’ compensation cases is a question of law subject to free review. According to the Court, the Idaho Industrial Commission’s determination of reasonableness should be reviewed as a finding … Continue Reading

The Idaho Supreme Court Applies February 12, 2015 Order to Treat Non-Appealable Order as a Final Judgment

Earlier this year, we addressed the Idaho Supreme Court’s frustration with the trial courts’ continuing failure to enter final judgments in compliance with Idaho Rule of Civil Procedure 54(a). See posts here and here. As a result, on February 12, 2015, the Court issued an order stating that “any judgment, decree or order entered before … Continue Reading

New Decision Illustrates When the Idaho Supreme Court Will Address Legal Issues That Were Not Addressed by the Trial Court

Every now and then, the Idaho Supreme Court will address issues that, although not addressed by the trial court, may arise on remand. The Court has that authority under Idaho Code § 1-205, which states: “[I]f a new trial be granted, the court shall pass upon and determine all the questions of law involved in … Continue Reading

Idaho Supreme Court Awards Attorney Fees to a Prevailing Party Where Contempt Proceedings Were Dismissed Without Prejudice

Can there be a prevailing party when an action is voluntarily dismissed without prejudice?  According to the Idaho Supreme Court, the answer is yes.  Charney v. Charney, 2015 Opinion No. 59 (June 23, 2015), is a decision that should serve as a note of caution for Idaho litigators. Two months following their divorce, Dennis Charney … Continue Reading

Changes to the Idaho Appellate Rules Go into Effect on July 1, 2015

Amendments to Rules 11 and 12.4 of the Idaho Appellate Rules go into effect on July 1, 2015. The amendments relate to appeals from the Idaho Industrial Commission. I.A.R. 11 addresses appellate judgments and orders. The amendments add a new provision, Rule 11(d)(2), that allows an immediate appeal “[f]rom any order of the Industrial Commission … Continue Reading

The Idaho Supreme Court and Court of Appeals Announce Fall Terms for 2015

The Idaho Supreme Court and Idaho Court of Appeals published official notice of their respective 2015 Fall Terms in the June/July edition of The Advocate. The terms look like this: Idaho Supreme Court Regular Fall Term for 2015 Coeur d’Alene ……………………………………………………………………… August 25, 26, 27 Moscow ……………………………………………………………………………… August 28 Boise (Boise State University) …………………………………………………. September … Continue Reading

Does a Judge’s Personal Background Matter in Appellate Decision-Making?

The extent to which a judge’s personal background influences his or her decision-making is a matter of debate. Before being appointed to the United States Supreme Court, Sonia Sotomayor remarked that “[p]ersonal experiences affect the facts that judges choose to see” and gave a speech declaring that the ethnicity and sex of a judge “may … Continue Reading

A Recent Idaho Supreme Court Decision Shows the Care Litigants Must Take to Adequately Present Their Case at Trial and on Appeal

The Idaho Supreme Court recently issued an opinion that reveals the critical importance of case preparation. See Hilliard v. Murphy Land Company, LLC, No. 42093-2014 (May 21, 2015). In Hilliard, millions of dollars were at stake. The plaintiffs sold their farm to the defendant. Three million dollars of the sale price was placed in trust … Continue Reading

Idaho Supreme Court Can Award Attorney Fees Under a Federal Statute Even if Federal Courts Cannot

The Idaho Supreme Court recently made clear that its authority to award attorney fees under a federal statute is not constrained by United States Supreme Court precedent. In James v. City of Boise, 2015 Opinion No. 49 (May 21, 2015), the Court affirmed the judgment of the district court dismissing the plaintiff’s complaint seeking to … Continue Reading

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

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 www.uscourts.gov. The website compiles statistics, by circuit, on appeals commenced, terminated, and pending in detailed tables identified … Continue Reading

Idaho Supreme Court and Idaho Court of Appeals’ May Calendars and Helpful Appellate Practice Links

The Idaho Supreme Court has released its May calendar [link http://www.isc.idaho.gov/appeals-court/isc-calendar]. It will be hearing arguments in Boise on May 4, 6, and 8, in Idaho Falls on May 12, and in Pocatello on May 13. For the hearings in Boise, you can watch the arguments via live streaming through the above link. The Idaho … 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
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