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When you are fighting a legal case then it is first conducted in trial courts. If a party whose case was being conducted in the lower court loses, then they can apply in the higher court – United States Supreme Court and state Supreme Court. Here you need or require the help of an appellate lawyer who can help you appeal at the higher court. Appellate is related to appeals that are made to A. Higher court known as appellate court by the party who has lost his or her case at the trial court. At the appellate court the decisions of the lower courts are reviewed. The appellate lawyer focuses during his practice on advocating cases before the federal and state appellate courts which includes the United States Supreme Court and state Supreme Courts. The main work of the appellate lawyers is to correct errors of the lower court judges and change the law by swaying appellate courts to turn over the trial court decisions or even change or expand the interpretation of the statutory law.

The creator and the proud owner of the well known job search portal BCG, A. Harrison Barnes, is of the view that the appellate lawyers play a very vital role in the proceedings of the higher courts. The demand of appellate attorneys is increasing in every state. The appellate attorneys are the ones who will attack discretionary judgment or orders made by a lower court. The appellate courts legitimately interfere in the orders made by the trial courts. In pursuing the higher court to interfere in the decisions of the trial courts you need an appellate attorney. The main work of the appellate attorney to satisfy the appellate court that the order passed by the lower court stands outside the limits of the sound discretionary judgment or was simply wrong before it interferes.

It is the duty of the appellate attorneys to review and analyze the trial records and other legal documents, says A. Harrison Barnes. They have to analyze the law of the researched case. The appellate lawyers draft appellate documents and persuasive briefs. They are the ones who have to urge in the appellate courts before its judges. They even have to assist trial counsel in placing the issues on trial and also maintain the record of the appeal.

The appellate practices vary from state to state and from federal district to federal district, informs A. Harrison Barnes. But this at times acts as a disadvantage for the lawyers who are practicing in the appellate field. They need to know the rules and laws particular to the federal district or the state. They cannot even travel to any other state or federal district or even to any other nation.

Qualification and Experience Required for Appellate Practice

The appellate attorneys have a J.D. degree (Juris Doctor) and normally have important trial experience. The full time students usually graduate in six semesters (three years). The part time students usually graduate in eight semesters (four years). The high quality legal education that the candidates receive at the law institutes provides them with the knowledge and skills and ethical concepts which allow them to function as competent appellate lawyers. It also allows them to think critically about the efficacy of the law and legal institutions and to work for the improvement of their legal careers. The students may choose to take externships, where they earn academic credit for working at non-profit organizations or government agencies, says A. Harrison Barnes. The students may also choose from one of several legal clinics where they handle real cases under the supervision of a faculty member.


They need to have exceptional research skills along with writing and analytical skills which are important to write legal memoranda, persuasive briefs and other documents. They even need to have a good practical knowledge about the various areas of law; they should be familiar with the appellate practice. They should even have oral advocacy skills along with great interpersonal skills, Barnes recommends.

As Barnes says, the appellate lawyers mainly deal with judgments that are appealable. Their duties are to see how appeals are presented before the appellate court, what will be required for the reversal of the decision of the lower or trial court and also the procedures that both the parties should follow. The appellate lawyers are also involved in the issues related to the challenging and posting of appellate bonds, writs of restitution, habeas corpus, quo mandate, execution and certiorari, post verdict motions and many other issues.

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