Why specialized appellate counsel?
Why not just continue with trial counsel on appeal? Because appeals are different than trials.
How are appellate cases different?
- Appeals require experience in presenting cases to appellate judges, not juries.
- Appeals require a firm that knows which issues to present and not to present, and how to present them.
- Appeals require a lawyer who can see the case's larger picture.
The appellate specialist can provide the client with a fresh perspective on the case, clarifying the issues that matter to appellate courts.
Trial counsel who are not experienced with the appellate process can have difficulty objectively assessing an appeal's merits. Where they've won at trial, these counsel tend to trivialize appellate issues the adversary has raised that, in fact, may be significant. Where they've lost at trial, these counsel contest too many trial rulings, disregarding that most rulings, even if incorrect, had little impact on the outcome and are unlikely to obtain appellate relief. Filing a scattershot brief that fails to focus on the one or two issues that usually impacted the result does not give the client the best chance of winning on appeal.