Appellate Practice

About the Committee


The Appellate Practice Committee strives to demystify the appellate process and provide educational resources through its programs and the work of its subcommittees. Committee members monitor current developments in case law, proposed amendments to procedural rules, and proposals for legislation. Subcommittees also work on appellate institutes, the National Law Student Appellate Advocacy contest, program planning, and numerous special assignments of interest to appellate practitioners.

Message from the Chairs

Welcome to the website for the ABA’s Appellate Practice Committee. This site explains our committee’s mission, how we implement that mission, and how you can get involved.

What is the Appellate Practice Committee?
Our committee has many objectives. Here are three especially important goals:

  1. We serve as a hub for attorneys who seek resources to enhance their appellate-advocacy skills.
  2. We provide our members with meaningful professional networking opportunities.
  3. We deliver thought leadership on issues of appellate law to the national legal community.

What, more specifically, does the Appellate Practice Committee do?
First, we offer diverse resources to our members on appellate advocacy and the law of appellate procedure. By way of example:

  • CLE programs. We plan and execute CLE programs at the Section of Litigation Annual Conference, other Litigation Section conferences, and the ABA Annual Meeting. This spring, for example, we will present or co-present three programs at the Section Annual Conference (including a Hamilton mock First Amendment argument and a program on complex, multiparty appeals) and one showcase program at the LGBT Litigator Forum on the post-Justice Kennedy U.S. Supreme Court. We have presented programs in past years on the U.S. Supreme Court, techniques to enhance appellate briefs, mock oral argument, and the intersection of appellate law and popular media. We also hold at least one Regional CLE program each year; in 2019, we plan to hold regional CLE events in Miami, Florida and Orange County, California.
  • Appellate Practice Newsletter. Our committee publishes a quarterly e-newsletter, the Section of Litigation’s only publication focused exclusively on appellate law. Please contact Shaunta Knibb or Anna-Rose Mathieson if you have any ideas for future articles and/or would like to contribute an article.
  • Sound Advice. Through the Section of Litigation’s Sound Advice program, our committee regularly offers podcasts about appellate advocacy. You can find our committee’s more recent Sound Advice pieces on the right-hand navigation of this page. We will release more podcasts in 2019.
  • Roundtables. We also provide quarterly web-based educational programs that are free of charge to members. Past RoundTable programs have focused on the U.S. Supreme Court Term and tips for breaking into appellate law.
  • Summaries of key developments in appellate law. Our committee keeps its members abreast of notable decisions concerning appellate procedure. The committee generally does this by emailing summaries of these decisions shortly after they are issued, or including short practice pointers on new legal developments in the Appellate Practice Newsletter.
  • Pro Bono resources. Our committee has published a guide to pro bono opportunities in the federal circuit courts of appeal and continues to help foster pro bono opportunities for our members.
  • Books on appellate advocacy. The committee publishes A Practitioner’s Guide to Appellate Advocacy, a practically oriented resource for all lawyers who seek guidance on appellate issues. A new edition of the Guide is slated to be published in Spring 2019.

In addition to offering these and other resources, our committee provides its members with meaningful professional networking opportunities. These opportunities often come from working together on subcommittees, from building relationships at the Section of Litigation Annual Conference and ABA Annual Meeting, and from connecting through social media.

How can you get involved with the committee?
We have eight subcommittees—ranging from programming to social media to pro bono—that always need energetic and talented members. Please email our membership cochairs, Cheyenne Chambers and Emily McNee to get involved with a subcommittee. Please tell them if you have a specific interest—such as contributing a Sound Advice piece, planning CLE programs, working on our social-media efforts, or writing a newsletter article.

Thank you again for visiting our website. We would love for you to become involved with our committee and to use the committee’s resources—and the wisdom and experience of our members—to enhance your appellate practice.

M.C. Sungaila
Jason Kairalla

Co-Chairs, Appellate Practice Committee


Our active subcommittees include:

  • Appellate Rules and Statutes
  • Appellate Practice Journal Board of Editors
  • Website
  • "Sound Advice"
  • Membership/Diversity
  • Professional Opportunities and Pro Bono Appeals
  • Programming
  • Young Lawyers

Find contact information for committee and subcommittee chairs:

Committee Leadership

Jason Kairalla
M.C. Sungaila

Web Editors
Lara Grillo
Allan Gustin
Sanford Hausler
Brian Lanciault
Steve Tatum

Newsletter Editors
Shaunta Knibb
Marco Pulido
Susan Yorke