Working with Appellate Court Clerks: Call Today! Don't Delay!


Who says, ?We don?t give legal advice. Read the rules of court and local rules.?? The answer, of course?as just about any litigator knows?is that this is a court clerk answering the telephone. You gain bonus points for noticing that this phrase is typically relayed in hushed tones, accompanied by the explanation, ?The judge is on the bench.?

But guess what? This unhelpful response comes almost exclusively from court clerks in trial courts. Those clerks witness bad behavior by attorneys on a daily basis. Moreover, they are so busy helping to run an overwhelmed trial courtroom that they simply have no time to provide real assistance, even if they wanted to.

Clerks at the appellate level, however, are entirely different. Fortunately for litigators, more often than not, they are friendly and helpful in answering both routine and tricky questions.

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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.

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