In this Issue

Professional Development

The Complete Appellate Advocate: Beyond Brief Writing

Appellate lawyers are often thought of as brief writers and oral advocates who only become involved in a case after it is won or lost at the trial court level. (They may be especially likely to be retained after a case has been lost.) While appellate briefs and oral arguments may epitomize what appellate lawyers traditionally do, clients and other lawyers are coming to recognize that appellate attorneys’ skill sets and training can add significant value at many stages of litigation starting as early as case development.

Rule Of Law

Niche Appellate Practice: Pro Bono Appellate Representation

Too often people whose civil rights are violated lack the wherewithal to vindicate those rights. Many important issues never find their way to court—let alone to an appellate court—because of the expenses involved in navigating our legal system with counsel. In other instances, non-parties may have important insight to offer an appellate court about the practical effects of the court’s decision, but may not have the resources to prepare amicus briefs.

Courts & Judiciary

Staying Judgment with Appeal Bonds

When a party receives an adverse money judgment and there are grounds for appeal, one of the first major considerations is how to stay enforcement of the judgment pending appeal. This is such a significant issue that for some, the ability, or perhaps inability, to stay enforcement will determine whether they can pursue the appeal. Appeal bonds provided by surety insurance companies are the most common form of security used in almost all state and federal courts, yet how they are underwritten and the terms under which they are provided are unclear to many appellate practitioners. This article guides appellate practitioners through the fundamentals of appeal bonds, so they can help their clients protect their assets and ultimately pursue their right to appeal.

Courts & Judiciary

New Frontiers for the Appellate Lawyer at Trial

Innovative and groundbreaking litigators have become increasingly creative with the job description for an appellate lawyer embedded in a trial team. No longer “just” a record-protector, the appellate guru may be a persuasion consultant, brief-and-motion-writer, legal-issue-spotter, oral arguer, jury instruction ace, whiz researcher, multi-jurisdictional strategist, or any combination of these. Instead of being invited to participate in trial at the last minute (only when it becomes clear from failed settlement negotiations that a trial is sure to occur), appellate lawyers are now often recruited to join the trial team as soon as the dispute begins. And instead of focusing exclusively on posturing the case for an eventual appeal, appellate lawyers are now often focused on how to facilitate a win in the trial court, or how to avoid a trial altogether by securing favorable rulings on dispositive motions or achieving results at the motion in limine hearing that improve the chances of a settlement. Experienced embedded appellate lawyers are learning that no two trial roles are alike, and that initiative, vision, and creativity are critical to add value to a trial team. For embedded appellate lawyers looking to take their value (offered and added) to the next level, here are a few new and niche trial frontiers to consider.

Courts & Judiciary

Appellate Advice from District Judges

You get the electronic case filing notice reminding you of your oral argument. It is the email you have been waiting for to see who is on your panel. Two names you recognize – circuit judges you know from past appearances. But, there is another name that you’ve never seen before – a district judge sitting by designation. Now, before you launch a full-blown investigation that would qualify you to become an FBI special agent, read the advice here.