The Law Office of John Robinson Jr. PLLC
Utah Appellate Attorney

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Appellate Updates and Analysis

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Appeals From a Guilty Plea, Then and Now

Nearly 100 years ago the Utah Supreme Court decided Weaver v. Kimball, 202 P. 9 (Utah 1921). There, the court determined that the Utah Constitution gave the petitioners in the case "an unqualified right of appeal regardless of the plea entered," in that case a guilty one. Id. at 10. What's interesting about that is not the proposition itself, but the fact that modern Utah Supreme Court caselaw holds the opposite, even though the court routinely cites to Weaver as good law.

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(One of) The Pitfalls of Appellate Litigation

In Living Rivers v. UDEQ, 2017 UT 64, the Utah Supreme Court again dinged an appellant for not individually challenging each of of the reasons that supported the decision on review. In its 22 page opinion, the court affirmed the agency action on appeal "despite reservations about the [agency's] statutory analysis." Id. ¶ 4. The case thus serves as another in a long line of reminders that procedural rules matter and that litigants face a substantial risk of losing an otherwise viable appeal by failing to understand the nature of appellate review.

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