Do appellate judges really recognize the value of appellate specialists?

"My own experience in both roles suggests that most of the time the trial lawyer is well-advised to bring in another lawyer to handle the appeal. This is not because appellate law is so arcane that only the cognoscenti can handle it. It is really because the lawyer who handled the trial is often unable to discern the appellate forest from the trial trees. Issues that consumed the trial lawyer are often of marginal significance at best on appeal; issues that seemed trivial during trial may become critical on review."

Hon. Gary M. Farmer, Florida Fourth District Court of Appeal
Arabia v. Siedlecki, 789 So. 2d 380 (Fla. 4th DCA 2001)
(Farmer, J., concurring in part and dissenting in part)


"Effective presentation to a federal court of appeals, or to any appellate court, requires a blend of talents not necessarily found in the typical trial attorney."

Hon. Laurence H. Silberman, U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit,
Plain Talk on Appellate Advocacy, 20 Litigation 3 (1994)


"[T]here is a difference between the skills needed in litigating a case before trial and appellate courts. Trial litigation - focusing on jury trials - requires jury arguments that are generally structured to lead ordinary people to decide something based on compelling emotional arguments. . . . Thus, the ability to evoke an emotional response is important in making jury arguments. In appellate advocacy, however, the emphasis switches and the attorney must stress the application of law to facts - keeping in mind the appellate court's concern for uniformity of the law and doing justice ."

Hon. Leander Shaw, Supreme Court of Florida,
Jennifer S. Carroll,
Appellate Specialization and the Art of Appellate Advocacy
74-June Fla. B.J. 107 (2000) (quoting letter to author)


"Most lawyers know little about the inner working of appeals courts. They are not aware of the practical and doctrinal factors that shape appellate review. They do not realize that a judge approaches the appeal in a way that is very different from a lawyer."

Paul R. Michel, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
Effective Appellate Advocacy 24 No. 4 Litigation 19 (Summer 1998)

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