Appellate Practice


Learn while you’re on the go. Listen to the Appellate Practice Committee’s past Sound Advice and Roundtable recordings on this archive page.

Sound Advice

Supreme Court Debates Application of the "Discovery Rule" to FDCPA Limitations Period
In Rotkiske v. Klemm, the Supreme Court is poised to decide whether the FDCPA’s limitations period can be enlarged by the "discovery rule.” The Court’s eventual ruling could have major implications for the FDCPA and beyond. In this Sound Advice, Mark Rooney (Consumer Litigation) and Anna-Rose Mathieson (Appellate Practice) discuss the central issues raised during the Court’s recent oral argument. (9:49 min.)

State Postconviction Motions
Daniel Tibbitt reviews the process of litigating state post-conviction motions in criminal court, with a focus on Florida. (12:26 min.)

Tips to Finish Strong with an Effective Appellate Reply Brief
Many litigators squander the great opportunity to have the last word in the reply brief. Follow these tips, presented by Nicholas Brown, to finish strong and maximize your chances of winning.  (8:12 min.)

The Book on Daubert: Three Key Strategies for Preparing Your Witness, and Three for the Attack
Appellate attorney Allen Bonner discusses three strategies for preparing for and prevailing against Daubert challenges to your expert witness, along with three tips you can employ to mount Daubert challenges of your own. (10:28 min.)

As an Advocate, Welcome Questions from the Bench and Use Them to Win Your Appeal
Everyone fears getting a question during oral argument to which they do not have a good answer. Experienced appellate advocates welcome questions and use them to advance their argument. (8:30 min.)

Optimizing Technology for Appellate Practice
Practical advice for practitioners on how to use technology to achieve efficiencies in preparing appellate briefs and appendices. (15:58 min.)

The Supreme Court's Talmudic Debate on Meanings of Guilt, Innocence, and Finality
Based on a law review article (73 Wash. & Lee L. Rev. 1243) discussing the Scalia/Stevens debate in the Supreme Court, over finality in criminal cases. (23:49 min.)

Five Principles for Good Legal Writing
Appellate attorney David Coale offers tips and discusses key principles for good brief writing. (17:44 min.)

Ten Tips for Oral Argument
Supreme Court and appellate attorneys Ruthanne Deutsch and Hyland Hunt discuss ways to best prepare for and present oral argument. (23:54 min.)

The Appellate Dream Team
Jason Steed outlines the five skill sets that attorneys need for a successful appellate practice. (17:54 min.)

How Attorneys Can Prepare and Conduct Oral Arguments for a Multi-Judge Panel
Ted Hirt interviews William Jay regarding the best practices for preparing to argue in front of a multi-judge panel. (9:02 min.)

Rules and Strategic Considerations for Cross-Appeals
In cases of a mixed judgment the judgment process is complicated. Appellate expert Jennifer Swize discusses Rule 28.1 and what to consider when planning a cross-appeal. (11:40 min.)

Are Rule 50 Motions Required to Preserve Error for Purely Legal Questions?
Dallas litigator Kelli Bills reviews some of the latest rulings from around the country regarding Rule 50 motions. (11:07 min.)

The Last 24 Hours Before Oral Argument
Advanced preparation is critical to the success of oral argument.  In this Sound Advice, Kannon Shanmugam and Ted Hirt discuss ideas for what to do in the final stages of the preparation process. (9:43 min.)

Common Mistakes in Appellate Practice and How to Avoid Them
Veteran appellate attorney Mark Fulks highlights some common mistakes during the appeal process, in hopes that you will avoid those issues in your practice. (13:21 min.)

Section 1292 (a-1)—Order or Injunction?
Appellate specialist Sonia O’Donnell explains the difference between an order and an injunction under section 1292(a-1). (08:51 min.)

It's in the Briefs: How to Win Before You Utter a Word
Oral argument is vital in the appellate process. Judge Joseph Greenaway outlines strategies for brief writing that will put you ahead of opposing counsel. (08:36 min.)

Advice on Making the Most of your First Appellate Brief
Your first experience with an appeal may be different from the trial courts you’re used to. Listen as Haley Maple offers advice on making the most of your first appellate brief. (11:45 min.)

Ethical Issues on Appeal
Generally lawyers do not worry about ethical concerns during the appeals process. Listen as ethics expert Larry Fox highlights several scenarios where potential ethical issues could arise. (08:47 min.)

Appellate Jurisdiction
Andrew Pollis explains how to get your case into the court of appeals before final judgment as the multiple categories of appellate jurisdiction are explained. (11:27 min.)

Best Practices of Oral Advocacy in an Appellate Setting
Appellate oral arguments can differ from those used at trial. Listen as Thomas J. Donlon outlines some of the best practices of oral advocacy in an appellate setting. (08:02 min.)


Pathways to the Bench
Are you an appellate litigator? Have you ever dreamed of becoming a judge? Well, this is the Roundtable for you! This program presents the stories of three former appellate litigators and their unique pathways to the bench. (54:08 min.)

Effective Legal Writing Tips
Effective legal writing is essential to helping a court decide a case in your client's favor. It is therefore crucial to master techniques for organizing your brief and presenting your arguments to maximize your opportunity to achieve a favorable outcome.

This program, presented by Katherine Reilly of McMillan LLP and Christopher Soper, Assistant Clinical Professor of Law and Director of Legal Writing at the University of Minnesota, will offer practical tips and best practices about how to draft briefs and all other legal writings efficiently, effectively communicate your written advocacy to the court, and generally enhance your legal writing. Moderated by Demetrius D. Pyburn, Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd. (59:55 min.)

2018 Supreme Court Preview
What's ahead for the U.S. Supreme Court for October Term 2018? We discuss notable upcoming cases on the Court's docket, as well as the impact of recent retirements, appointments, and nominations to the Court. (1:00:51 min.)


  • Jessica Ring Amunson, Jenner & Block LLP, Washington, D.C.
  • Melissa Arbus Sherry, Latham & Watkins LLP, Washington, D.C.
  • Professor Steph Tai, University of Wisconsin Law School, Madison, WI
  • David C. Frederick, Kellogg, Hansen, Todd, Figel & Frederick, P.L.L.C., Washington, D.C. (Moderator)

Ethical Issues on Appeal
Few ethics rules are directly targeted at appeals or the appellate process, but lawyers counseling a client on an appeal, or pursuing an appeal, encounter many ethical questions along the way. Join us as three distinguished jurists discuss the ethical issues that attorneys face when working on appellate matters and how they can meet their obligations. (01:01:09 hr.) 
Judge Richard Dietz, North Carolina Court of Appeals
Judge Samuel Thumma, Arizona Court of Appeals
Judge Molly Huskey, Idaho Court of Appeals


The information on “Sound Advice” is for discussion purposes only and does not reflect the opinions of the ABA. The information is not legal advice nor a substitute for legal counsel.