Blog

Blog

Why an Appellate Attorney Should Narrow the Issues on Appeal.

Posted on 4 June, 2014 at 14:05

One of the most difficult tasks appellate attorneys face is narrowing the issues on appeal. The mastery of this skill set is critical to appellate practice. An appellate attorney preparing an appellate brief must ensure that the brief is crisp and focuses on jugular issues. Jugular issues are those issues that have a good chance of winning the appeal. Consequently, an appellate attorney should limit this argument to approximately four appellate issues. Lawyers that throw fifteen or twenty appellate arguments into their appellate brief are simply wasting everyone’s time – most importantly their client’s.

 

One reason to narrow issues on appeal is that appellate briefs have page limitations. When an attorney chooses to recite a laundry list of appellate arguments in the appellate brief, the attorney is unable to properly brief the law and develop the argument in any significant way due to the page limitations. This results in a less persuasive argument on all issues which only decreases your chances of success on appeal.

 

Some attorneys rationalize listing twenty appellate issues claiming that it shows how many errors littered the lower court proceeding. This is usually an unpersuasive argument in an appellate court. No proceeding is perfect. The appellate court, however, is only concerned with prejudicial error. Arguing tangential issues which did not result in prejudicial error is simply wasting the court’s time.

 

Another common rationalization is that listing all your client’s complaints about the proceeding makes the client happy. This is usually true in the short term. When the client reads the initial brief recounting all their complaints, they are usually very pleased because they know you were listening. However, your client is most likely not an attorney and your client hired you for your knowledge and experience in appellate practice. Their happiness will quickly dissipate when the brief in opposition and the appellate court’s decision recite all the reasons your laundry list of appellate issues fail – namely, that you wasted the court’s time with errors that did not rise to the type of prejudicial error that warrants appellate relief.

 

As an attorney you must listen to and digest everything your client brings to your attention. If your concern is making sure your client knows that you understand their position, the place to do this is in detailed conversations as to why certain errors are not appealable issues and why you are pursuing certain issues and not others. The appellate brief is not the place to do this. Your client is hiring you to give them the best chance of winning on appeal. They are not hiring you to appease them and give them false hopes. 

 

Because an appellate brief should be crisp, an appellate attorney must identify only the very best issues on appeal. This is done through a meticulous review of the record. A good appellate practitioner must pinpoint the critical mistakes that occurred in the lower court and should not be concerned about picayune matters that waste precious space. Remember, a good appellate brief should be limited to approximately 25 pages and thus your available space in an appeal is precious and should not be wasted on trivial matters. 

 

Written by:  Alexandra Siskopoulos, Esq.

Telephone:  (646) 942-1798

Email:          [email protected]

 

Disclaimer: This Blog/Web Site is made available by the lawyer or law firm publisher for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By using this blog site you understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the Blog/Web Site publisher. The Blog/Web Site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.

Categories: Appellate Attorneys

Post a Comment

Oops!

Oops, you forgot something.

Oops!

The words you entered did not match the given text. Please try again.

2419 Comments

Reply Keytiroseld
1:57 on 15 February, 2020 
Mejor Cialis O Levitra http://abcialisnews.com - cialis 20mg for sale Priligy Generico Comprar п»Ñ?cialis Lyme Disease Amoxicillin
Reply WallyNow
15:49 on 12 November, 2020 
come dimagrire velocemente
Reply kyrie 4
11:19 on 16 January, 2021 
My husband and i ended up being so joyful when Albert managed to carry out his investigations while using the precious recommendations he discovered in your site. It is now and again perplexing to just find yourself freely giving things which usually some other people could have been selling. We really consider we have got the blog owner to give thanks to because of that. The specific explanations you've made, the simple web site menu, the relationships your site aid to create - it's got everything impressive, and it's making our son and us believe that this idea is exciting, and that's exceedingly essential. Thanks for all!
kyrie 4 http://www.kyrie4shoes.us
Reply supreme hoodie
11:19 on 16 January, 2021 
I wanted to compose you the very small observation just to say thanks a lot again regarding the magnificent principles you have featured on this site. It was wonderfully generous of people like you to deliver without restraint what exactly most of us could have marketed for an ebook in order to make some money for themselves, primarily given that you might well have tried it if you desired. The solutions in addition served like the great way to know that other people online have similar desire just like my own to understand more and more around this condition. I am certain there are thousands of more pleasant situations up front for those who view your blog post.
supreme hoodie http://www.supremeshoodie.com
Reply lebron 18
11:19 on 16 January, 2021 
I simply wished to appreciate you yet again. I do not know the things that I would have handled in the absence of these advice documented by you directly on that subject. It absolutely was the fearsome issue in my position, nevertheless being able to see this well-written way you solved that forced me to weep with happiness. I am happier for your information and even wish you recognize what an amazing job that you are undertaking training the mediocre ones through the use of your site. I am sure you have never encountered all of us.
lebron 18 http://www.lebron18.net
Reply yeezy
11:19 on 16 January, 2021 
Thanks for all your labor on this web site. Kate really likes carrying out internet research and it is simple to grasp why. Many of us know all concerning the lively medium you make useful guides by means of this blog and therefore increase participation from some other people on this matter and our own daughter is really learning a whole lot. Have fun with the rest of the year. You are always doing a first class job.
yeezy http://www.supplyyeezy.us
Reply air jordan
11:19 on 16 January, 2021 
I precisely wished to thank you so much all over again. I do not know what I would have implemented without those creative concepts discussed by you on such a situation. It truly was a real terrifying issue in my circumstances, however , understanding a new skilled tactic you solved that made me to jump with joy. I'm thankful for the support and then expect you realize what a powerful job that you are putting in teaching some other people using a blog. Most probably you have never got to know any of us.
air jordan http://www.airjordansstore.com
Reply kobe
11:19 on 16 January, 2021 
I just wanted to jot down a small remark to thank you for all of the superb ways you are placing at this website. My considerable internet search has at the end been rewarded with beneficial suggestions to share with my best friends. I would claim that most of us readers are unquestionably endowed to exist in a good site with so many outstanding individuals with valuable strategies. I feel somewhat privileged to have come across your web page and look forward to many more exciting minutes reading here. Thanks once more for everything.
kobe http://www.kobe.us.com
Reply kyrie spongebob
11:20 on 16 January, 2021 
I have to show my love for your kind-heartedness supporting all those that must have guidance on this important subject matter. Your real commitment to getting the message across was quite powerful and have always allowed most people like me to achieve their endeavors. Your new valuable facts entails so much a person like me and especially to my office workers. Best wishes; from all of us.
kyrie spongebob http://www.kyrie5spongebob.us
Reply jordan shoes
11:20 on 16 January, 2021 
Thank you for all your labor on this site. Debby takes pleasure in making time for internet research and it's really simple to grasp why. We notice all concerning the powerful way you create functional solutions on your blog and as well as strongly encourage contribution from other people on this subject matter plus my daughter is in fact studying a whole lot. Enjoy the rest of the year. You are conducting a really great job.
jordan shoes http://www.jordanshoes.us
Reply a bathing ape
11:20 on 16 January, 2021 
I wish to convey my affection for your kindness for women who have the need for help with this particular field. Your special dedication to passing the message up and down ended up being wonderfully practical and has in every case allowed workers just like me to attain their aims. The valuable report entails a whole lot a person like me and extremely more to my office colleagues. Regards; from all of us.
a bathing ape http://www.bapes.us.org
Reply kyrie 6 shoes
11:20 on 16 January, 2021 
I would like to voice my gratitude for your generosity giving support to those individuals that really need guidance on your concept. Your personal commitment to getting the solution all through came to be unbelievably insightful and have continually helped workers just like me to achieve their targets. The informative suggestions means this much to me and especially to my office workers. Thanks a lot; from everyone of us.
kyrie 6 shoes http://www.kyrie6.org
Reply lebron shoes
15:18 on 18 January, 2021 
I not to mention my buddies were found to be looking through the good things from your web page while suddenly got an awful suspicion I never thanked the web blog owner for those techniques. The men were definitely as a result thrilled to study all of them and already have definitely been having fun with them. Thank you for really being very kind and for selecting this form of superior ideas millions of individuals are really eager to know about. Our own honest apologies for not saying thanks to earlier.
lebron shoes http://www.lebron18.us
Reply pandora jewelry
15:19 on 18 January, 2021 
I want to show my appreciation for your kindness giving support to visitors who really need guidance on this one concept. Your personal dedication to passing the message up and down appeared to be extremely helpful and have constantly empowered employees just like me to achieve their goals. Your new invaluable suggestions signifies a lot a person like me and even further to my office colleagues. Thank you; from all of us.
pandora jewelry http://www.pandorascharms.us
Reply jordans
15:20 on 18 January, 2021 
Thank you a lot for giving everyone a very terrific opportunity to read from this web site. It is usually very kind and stuffed with amusement for me and my office friends to search your web site at least 3 times every week to study the latest things you have. And lastly, I'm also at all times contented with the splendid solutions you give. Selected two ideas in this posting are particularly the most beneficial we have had.
jordans http://www.jordansshoes.us.org
Reply hermes birkin
15:20 on 18 January, 2021 
My spouse and i were very fulfilled when Edward could complete his researching through the entire precious recommendations he grabbed from your own weblog. It is now and again perplexing just to find yourself giving out helpful tips which men and women may have been selling. Therefore we do understand we have got the website owner to thank for that. The type of illustrations you made, the straightforward blog menu, the relationships you will help foster - it's got all wonderful, and it is assisting our son and our family consider that the idea is satisfying, and that's highly serious. Thank you for everything!
hermes birkin http://www.hermesbirkins.com
Reply yeezy shoes
15:20 on 18 January, 2021 
I have to express thanks to this writer for bailing me out of this crisis. Right after searching through the internet and finding methods which were not beneficial, I thought my entire life was well over. Living without the strategies to the difficulties you have resolved by way of your entire report is a crucial case, and those that could have in a negative way affected my entire career if I hadn't noticed your blog post. Your ability and kindness in controlling every part was crucial. I don't know what I would have done if I hadn't encountered such a solution like this. I can at this moment look forward to my future. Thanks very much for the impressive and effective guide. I will not be reluctant to endorse your web sites to anyone who would like guidance on this issue.
yeezy shoes http://www.yeezy-shoes.us.org
Reply nike off whtie
17:28 on 19 January, 2021 
I am just writing to make you understand what a nice experience my girl obtained viewing your site. She came to understand such a lot of issues, including how it is like to possess an excellent giving mood to let other folks with ease gain knowledge of a number of extremely tough issues. You truly exceeded our expectations. Many thanks for imparting those warm and helpful, trustworthy, explanatory and in addition fun thoughts on the topic to Kate.
nike off whtie http://www.nikexoffwhite.com
Reply off white
17:29 on 19 January, 2021 
I am also writing to make you know of the wonderful experience my wife's princess encountered browsing your web page. She picked up some things, including how it is like to have an excellent giving mood to get other people with ease fully understand certain complicated matters. You actually did more than our own expected results. Thanks for offering such essential, healthy, explanatory as well as unique guidance on that topic to Emily.
off white http://www.offwhitehoodies.us
Reply jordan shoes
17:30 on 19 January, 2021 
Thanks for all of your hard work on this site. Debby take interest in going through investigation and it's really simple to grasp why. Most of us learn all about the dynamic form you make invaluable guides by means of the blog and as well as invigorate participation from other people on this matter plus our child is truly understanding a great deal. Take pleasure in the remaining portion of the new year. You have been doing a really great job.
jordan shoes http://www.jordan13.us.com