Tragodía 2: Statement of the Case

Rule 8.204(a )(2)(A) of the California Rules of Court requires the appellate brief to “state the nature of the action, relief sought in the trial court, and the judgment or order appealed from.” The purpose of this rule is to give the Court of Appeal a concise overview of the relevant trial court proceedings. Usually this would include, in chronological order: the charges, relevant motions and rulings, the type of proceeding, the verdict or other result, the judgment and sentence, and the date the notice of appeal was filed. The statement should include only information relevant to the issues or necessary to give the appeal an intelligible setting. It should not quote or paraphrase pleadings or other documents extensively or offer excessive detail about dates and procedures not material to the issues. One page or less often suffices. The key is to offer the court procedural context and focus.

Tragodía is composed of the three parts of an appellate brief: 1: Statement of Facts, which sets forth, in narrative form, the evidence of the crime as presented at trial; 2: Statement of the Case, which sets forth the procedural history of the case; and 3: Argument, which are the claims of error and (for the defense) the arguments for reversing the judgment. Place’s Statement of the Case project involves reproducing Statements of the Case from some of her appellate briefs and representing them as poetry.

Vanessa Place is a writer, a criminal appellate defense attorney, and co-director of Les Figues Press. Of Vanessa Place and Robert Fitterman’s Notes on Conceptualisms, Mary Kelly said, “I learned more about the impact of conceptualism on artists and writers than I had from reading so-called canonical works on the subject.” Place is author of Dies: A Sentence, La Medusa, Notes on Conceptualisms (co-authored with Robert Fitterman), Exposé des Faits, and The Guilt Project: Rape, Morality and Law. Other work includes the Factory Series of chapbooks and a sound collaboration with Stephanie Taylor, Murder Square Dance on the Spiral Jetty (both with oodpress).