Find Lawyers in Hartford, Connecticut for Appellate Practice
Practice Area Overview
Appellate practice involves different skills and strategic considerations than trial practice. On appeal, the focus shifts from developing and proving facts (through discovery, examining witnesses, and trial) to the legal issues that decide the case. Effective appellate advocacy thus demands a formulation of the issues that is focused on what is important to a panel of appellate judges deciding the case.
In formulating the issues on appeal, an appellate lawyer conducts thorough legal research; analyzes the legal issues in light of the rule-making and policy considerations that shape the development of law; and then presents the facts and those issues and arguments selected for appeal concisely in a persuasive appellate brief.
The importance of a well-crafted appellate brief cannot be exaggerated. Appellate briefs receive greater judicial scrutiny than written materials prepared at trial because they are reviewed by a panel of judges, rather than a single judge, along with those judges’ larger legal staff, under comparatively less time pressure than exists in the trial court. As one appellate court has explained, appellate work is “most assuredly not the recycling of trial level points and authorities” but instead “entails rigorous original work in its own right” and “offers counsel probably their best opportunity to craft work of original, professional, and, on occasion, literary value.” In re Marriage of Shaban, 88 Cal. App. 4th 398, 408-10 (2001).
After the appellate briefing, oral argument is an opportunity to engage in a dialogue with the appellate judges regarding the issues in the case. To be effective, appellate oral advocacy must be keyed to the unique concerns of the appellate forum – avoiding emotional or fact-based pleas that may play well before a jury, but instead focusing on the dispositive legal issues, being sure to answer the judges’ questions.
In addition to the practice in the appellate courts, appellate lawyers play important roles in the trial courts. Appellate lawyers collaborate with trial counsel on strategic and tactical matters to raise all applicable arguments and make the appropriate trial record, identifying and preserving legal issues as they arise and crafting effective motions on substantive legal issues – before, during, and after trial.
Therefore, involving an appellate lawyer in a case as early as possible is important to ensure the best chance of success both at trial and on appeal.
Campbell D. Barrett chairs the Family Law practice and focuses primarily on matrimonial and appellate matters. He has been named a Top 50 Connecticut Super Lawyer multiple times and in 2016 was named a Top 100 New England Super Lawyer. He has also been recognized by Best Lawyers in the area of family law. Campbell has participated in scores of bench and jury trials on a wide variety of complicated family, civil, administrative and criminal matters in Connecticut's state and federal courts. In...
Attorney Bartschi joined the firm in 1996 and became a principal in 2000. He has an active appellate practice, with cases in the Connecticut Appellate and Supreme Courts. He has handled a number of appeals that have shaped the state of the law in Connecticut today. In addition to his practice, Attorney Bartschi is active in the legal community. He is a frequent lecturer and writer on appellate practice. He regularly presents the Supreme Court Review with Karen Dowd at the Connecticut Legal Co...
Appeals Attorney Dowd handles all aspects of appellate civil litigation in the Connecticut Appellate and Supreme courts, including the filing of petitions for certification to the Connecticut Supreme Court. Her appeals are varied, from personal injury to domestic relations to land use. She also consults on trial matters from an appellate perspective, including assisting in the drafting of legal memoranda for use before and during trial. Attorney Dowd taught written and oral advocacy in the Mo...
Appeals and Litigation Consultation Attorney Horton’s appellate practice covers a wide variety of legal issues, from constitutional matters, to domestic relations, insurance, personal injury, and land use. He began his law career as the law clerk to Justice Charles House of the Connecticut Supreme Court (1970 to 1971). Building on that experience, he has become one of the premier appellate lawyers in the state of Connecticut. The list of cases on which he appears as counsel, either at a...
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Best Lawyers employs a sophisticated, conscientious, rational, and transparent survey process designed to elicit meaningful and substantive evaluations of the quality of legal services. Our belief has always been that the quality of a peer review survey is directly related to the quality of the voters.