Friday, May 17, 2013

How Appeal-ing: Sour Cream Cookies

I know I made it sound like my weekend was all full of fun and frivolity, but that was just Sunday.  Last week, I got the last minute word that my boss wanted me to argue an appeal on Monday.

A quick law lesson:
There are 3 levels of courts in the state system - trial, appellate, and supreme.  Cases start out in the trial court.  If you watch any courtroom dramas, this is probably what you're familiar with.

If things go wrong in trial court, you can seek an appeal with the appellate court.  This isn't a case of "I don't like the verdict,"  there has to be a clear error for the court to address.  When this is done, both sides research the laws and write briefs arguing their sides.  The court then schedules a time when the parties can come in and argue their points.

I wasn't around during the time of the trial.  I wasn't around during the researching and writing of the briefs.  Up until Thursday I hadn't given two thoughts about the case or the appeal.

Which meant I spent Friday at work reading over all the papers.  And getting home pretty late.  Saturday I holed myself up, reading cases and crafting my argument for Monday.

And Monday morning I was up bright and early, heading for the Court of Appeal.  Appellate argument is very different from what you see in trials.  There is no jury.  The parties aren't there.  Instead you stand and begin making your argument, as the judges throw question after question at you.  Your "argument" really consists of having convincing answers to their questions. 

I did Moot Court in law school, which is mock-appellate argument, but this was my first time doing it for real.  And it was just like in school, and I enjoyed it just as much.  Even though the judges seemed to be against our position. 

Monday night I celebrated all my hard work with cookies.  Wouldn't you?  I'm sure you've had "cake cookies" made with boxed cake mix.  They're cakey and fluffy and easy to make.  These cookies taste similar - cakey and fluffy, and obviously easy to make.  Thatboy thought they were the infamous cake cookies, and after my day in court, I wasn't going to argue with anyone!

Sour Cream Cookies
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
5 Tbsp melted butter
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
12 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp nutmeg
  1. Preheat the oven to 375.  Beat the eggs in an electric mixer.
  2. Add the sugar, sour cream, butter, and vanilla, beating until combined.
  3. In a separate bowl combine the flour, baking soda, and nutmeg together and add to the wet ingredients, beating until combined.
  4. Arrange on a cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes.


  1. Wow.. Never tried these before.. GOing to bookmark this and try later... We are leaving to Paris on Wednesday so probably wont do allot of cooking in the next few days.

  2. At least you got to take Sunday off! What a stressful weekend otherwise. you definitely deserved cookies!

  3. Were you in Division 1? I did three appellate arguments as a summer law clerk (when I lived at your apt actually) and got a total of 1 question. So my arguments were basically just me talking until I decided to stop. Pretty dull. Which is probably why they let a law student argue in the first place

    1. It was Division 1. The partner thought I was going to get no questions and then he'd have to apologize for me not getting to show off.

  4. Now that's a well-earned cookie! Cool that you had fun with it (The court and the cookies.)

  5. I love watching courtroom shows... especially when the judge is sassy right back lol. Yay for a good day in court - and a great way to celebrate too! I have some extra sour cream that I might be able to make this over the weekend!