April 14, 2014 Articles

Boutique Appellate Practice

By Cindy Tobisman

I’m a partner at an appellate specialty firm. For me, practicing at such a firm is the best way to do what I do. The 22 attorneys with whom I work are all ivory-tower law nerds like me who love researching legal issues and writing briefs, motions, jury instructions, and any other kind of legal document that regular (saner) lawyers find tediously time-consuming. This means that I have ready access to a deep bench of talented attorneys—brainstorming a complex issue is as easy as walking down the hall and knocking on a door. I often run my arguments by my colleagues, and the finished products invariably benefit from those conversations.

Another benefit of working at an appellate boutique is the varied diet of cases. My practice touches on every aspect of civil law—from contract disputes to intellectual property to family law. In addition to arguing appeals, I work with trial counsel to formulate strategy in probate court and superior court—indeed, some trial attorneys bring us in early to help figure out the best way to approach their cases. Practicing at an appellate boutique means a broad platform for handing all kinds of matters.

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