Although all cases are initially tried at the trial court level, the losing party may appeal his case to higher courts known as appellate courts. An appellate attorney concentrates his practice on advocating cases before state and federal appellate courts, including state supreme courts and the United States Supreme Court. Appellate attorneys seek to correct errors of trial court judges and change the law by persuading appellate courts to overturn lower court decisions or to expand or change the interpretation of statutory law.
Appellate attorneys review and analyze trial records and other documents; research and analyze case law; draft persuasive briefs and appellate documents; advocate in appellate courts before appellate judges; and assist trial counsel in framing issues at trial and in preserving the record for appeal.
Education and Experience :
Appellate attorneys possess a J.D. and usually have significant trial experience.
Exceptional research, analytical and writing skills are necessary to write concise and persuasive briefs, legal memoranda and other documents. Other skills include a broad and practical knowledge of numerous substantive areas of law; familiarity with appellate practice; excellent interpersonal skills and superior oral advocacy skills.