6 Tips for Finding A Good Appellate Attorney

6 Tips for Finding A Good Appellate Attorney

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When looking for an appellate attorney, you are going to be looking for different things than you would in a trial lawyer. A trial lawyer must know the law, but they also need to be able to tell a story flawlessly and in a way that the layman on the street can understand.

An appellate attorney must also be able to tell a story, but they need to convince a panel of judges, so telling a simple story is not going to do much good. In this post, we will look at how you can find a good appellate attorney.


When it comes to the appeals process, there is no substitute for experience. You want a lawyer with at least a decade of experience or more specializing in appeals. Alternatively, you want a firm that can call on the collective experience of several accomplished appellate attorneys.

Choose a Respected Attorney

Respect counts for a lot in the appeals game. Look for an attorney with an AV rating to ensure that you get one that has the best combination of ethics and legal ability.

Find a Lawyer that Can Handle the Appeal Start to Finish

It is best to have one attorney that handles everything from the first filing to the final arguments for your case.

A Realistic Approach

Be wary of a firm that says you are guaranteed a positive outcome. Experienced lawyers will be able to give you a good idea of your chances but can never guarantee a successful outcome. So, no matter how keen you are to hear that you will win, be careful of lawyers who overpromise.

They Should Have an Enthusiasm for Your Case

Choose a firm that really has your best interests at heart. You want a lawyer that will treat your case as they would want their own to be treated if the situation ever arose. There is no room for a wishy-washy argument when it comes to an appeal.

They Should Be Good at Oration

The appellate court runs very differently to a normal trial. Instead of witnesses being examined on the stand in an orderly fashion, attorneys actually have to argue their cases in front of a panel of judges. There is a lot of debating that goes on and attorneys have to be quick-witted.

It is not only the opposing counsel that will launch questions at you, but also the judges. And the judges have an excellent understanding of case law, so expect questions that are difficult to answer. An appellate attorney must present a case eloquently and be able to argue it solely on its merits.

Your Attorney Must be Good at Writing

Before the matter even reaches the appellate court, though, it must be admitted. This means that a legal brief must be clearly written in a manner that persuades a judge or their law clerk that the matter deserves further attention.

If the written argument is poorly stated, the case will not be admitted for oral arguments.

Overall, what you need is an excellent blend of experience, resources and eloquence to give your appeal the best chance of success.

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