Appellate Briefs - December 2011: When Should You Start Thinking About Your Appeal?


     Trial attorneys have many issues to consider during a representation, and often the eventuality of an appeal is not at the forefront. So when should you start thinking about an appeal?
(a) at the start of the representation;
(b) when drafting or responding to dispositive motions; or
(c) at the start of trial.
     The answer, of course, is (a).
     The reality of an appeal for any case that does not settle should be anticipated from the start.  When developing the theme of your client’s case, consider how that theme will carry through to an appellate court.  When setting up the trial notebook, include a section for legal issues where any issue of law critical to your client’s claims or defenses should be listed.  You can use this section to add additional issues as they arise and to track the pleading of each issue, the presentation of it to the court for resolution, whether by motion or at trial, and its resolution. The trial notebook also should include a section for evidentiary issues that are anticipated and that arise. These issues should be tracked as the case progresses.
     Thinking about an appeal from the start can facilitate appellate representation and increase the likelihood of a positive appellate outcome.  In our next email, we will start discussing anticipating an appeal in each stage of the trial court representation.
Marie Tomassi is Florida Bar Board Certified in Appellate Practice. She has been an attorney with Trenam Kemker since 1988 and serves on the firm's three person Management Committee. She can be reached at or 727-820-3952.


Written by:

Published In:

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Trenam Kemker | Attorney Advertising

Don't miss a thing! Build a custom news brief:

Read fresh new writing on compliance, cybersecurity, Dodd-Frank, whistleblowers, social media, hiring & firing, patent reform, the NLRB, Obamacare, the SEC…

…or whatever matters the most to you. Follow authors, firms, and topics on JD Supra.

Create your news brief now - it's free and easy »

All the intelligence you need, in one easy email:

Great! Your first step to building an email digest of JD Supra authors and topics. Log in with LinkedIn so we can start sending your digest...

Sign up for your custom alerts now, using LinkedIn ›

* With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name.