Monday, August 25, 2014
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
- 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.