Monday, August 25, 2014

5 ways to impress appellate judges; 5 ways to distress them

These tips come from Joseph Sullivan, of counsel at Holland & Knight and former Presiding Justice of Appellate Division, First Department, in New York.  They are included in a special report from the New York Law Journal on appellate practice which you can access here.

Five Ways to Impress, Five Ways to Depress an Appellate Judge

Five Ways to Impress

  • Prepare.   To be effective, the appellate lawyer should begin preparation for the argument several days or even weeks in advance of the scheduled argument.
  • Hit the salient point(s) immediately.
  • Address adverse precedent squarely.
  • Know the judges.
  • Include in your brief a good, concise summary of the facts.  Doing this requires the greatest skill

Five Ways to Depress

  • Love thyself above all others. Don't become so carried away with your argument that you forget it an appellate argument and not a performance for the jury.
  • Don't just read from your brief.
  • Don't waste valuable time with a lengthy recitation of the facts.
  • Recognize that the court is pressed for time and act accordingly.
  • Don't use lengthy string cites in your brief especially for blackletter principles

You can read the complete version of Mr. Sullivan's tips for appellate lawyers here.


| Permalink


Post a comment