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    What Does a Appeals Attorney Do?


    Appeals attorneys take cases from trial courts that hear both civil and criminal cases and appeal them to higher courts. They do this to reverse a lower court judge’s decision, challenge a jury’s verdict, overturn an error of law made before a trial judge or jury, and review a decision by a trial court on a motion to suppress in a criminal case or a motion in limine in a civil matter.


    Appeals attorneys have a diverse skill set that includes the ability to review and analyze trial records, research case law, draft persuasive briefs and appellate documents, and advocate in appellate courts before appellate judges. Appeals attorneys are also knowledgeable about legal precedents and know how to provide suggestions for changes that may be beneficial in future cases.

    Appellate lawyers also have excellent writing skills, as they must be able to distill the key information and facts in their client’s case into concise and persuasive briefs. They must be able to organize the thousands of pages of trial transcripts, motion papers, briefs, and exhibits into a coherent record that will be easily accessible when submitting it to the appeal court.

    Appeals attorneys are also adept at identifying trial-court errors that can be used in their arguments. This requires well-honed analytical skills, a strong understanding of the applicable law, and good judgment. Moreover, they must be familiar with the local rules of the appellate court regarding deadlines and other requirements for filing appeals.


    Appeals attorneys are often called upon to handle high-stakes cases. These include complex commercial and contract disputes, patent and trademark litigation, criminal defense matters and environmental regulatory issues. They also represent clients before state and federal courts.

    Having an eye for detail is a key to navigating the appellate maze, from filing deadlines to producing complete records. A solid understanding of appellate rules and procedures can mean the difference between winning your case and a dismissal.

    An experienced appeals attorney can cite numerous legal and policy precedents to prove that their client is right on the money. Their knowledge of a particular case or issue enables them to devise creative strategies to achieve their clients’ goals. They are able to craft persuasive arguments, briefs and other documents that stand up to the rigors of the appellate courts. The best part is that their knowledge and experience help them avoid costly missteps. The most successful appellate lawyers are also empathetic listeners who put their clients’ best interests first.


    Appeals attorneys often represent clients who are dissatisfied with a trial court’s decision and want an appellate court to review the case. This is a different approach than litigation or trial work and requires a special skill set.

    Appellate lawyers need to know the law, explain legal principles clearly, and write persuasive briefs that persuade appeals judges. They also need excellent oral argument skills, which require hours of preparation and discipline to stay focused on important issues while avoiding distractions from judges who may interrupt their arguments.

    Having extensive experience with appeals, particularly with civil or criminal cases, is one of the best qualifications for an appealing attorney. Whether you are a party to a case or have lost and are seeking a new trial, an experienced appeals attorney will be able to help you achieve the outcome you desire.


    Appeals attorneys have a strong commitment to the legal system. They are constantly researching and reviewing new cases and trying to get the best results possible for their clients.

    In addition, they have a strong commitment to their community. They serve on many different committees and boards, often helping to promote legislation that benefits their clients.

    This commitment and dedication to their work can make appeals attorneys feel incredibly proud of themselves, and help them to build a successful career. It can also make them more confident and less likely to give up if obstacles arise.

    Several studies have focused on the sense of commitment. They have found that people tend to believe other people are committed to certain actions even if they would not necessarily judge that a commitment is in place. This is a phenomenon that is quite characteristic of human social life, and it offers an excellent starting point for investigating the cognitive and motivational processes that lead people to feel and act committed, and to expect others to do so as well.


    Frequently Asked Questions (Faqs) 

    Q: What is the main role of an appeals attorney?

    The main role of an appeals attorney is to represent clients in the appeals process. This involves reviewing the lower court’s record, identifying potential legal errors or issues, and making legal arguments to a higher court to reverse or modify the lower court’s decision.

    Q: What types of legal arguments do appeals attorneys make?

    Appeals attorneys can make a variety of legal arguments, depending on the specific issues in the case. Some common types of legal arguments include arguing that the lower court made an error in applying the law, arguing that there was insufficient evidence to support the lower court’s decision, or arguing that the lower court violated the defendant’s constitutional rights.

    Q: What is the difference between a civil appeals attorney and a criminal appeals attorney?

    Civil appeals attorneys handle appeals related to civil cases, such as disputes over contracts or property. Criminal appeals attorneys handle appeals related to criminal cases, such as convictions for crimes like murder or robbery.

    Q: How does the appeals process work?

    The appeals process involves filing a notice of appeal with the appropriate court and submitting a brief outlining the legal arguments in the case. The parties may also have the opportunity to participate in an appellate oral argument. The appeals court will then review the record of the lower court and issue a written decision.

    Q: Can an appeals attorney also handle a case at trial?

    Some attorneys may handle both trial and appeals cases, while others may specialize in one or the other. It is important to discuss an attorney’s experience and qualifications in both areas before deciding to hire them for a case.

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