What is Appellate Law?
If a party is unhappy with the result of their case, they may file an appeal, asking an appeals court to reverse the lower court, based on a matter of law. Compared to trial practice, appellate law practitioners must navigate a fundamentally different process, focusing on detailed analysis of a legal issue, rather than disputed interpretation of facts. Very often, their work represents precedent-setting decisions and legal theories that modify existing laws.
Appellate practice involves skills and methods that can vary greatly from those employed in trial practice, notably the application of extensive research, brief writing, and advanced analytics. An appeal deals primarily with the law, the facts as adduced at trial, and as argued before judges. As such, the focus of the appellate professional is on legal argument, through written and oral advocacy, and requires formulation of issues important to appellate judges, who may be deciding a precedent-setting case.
When trial errors or faulty interpretations are discovered, the role of the appellate lawyer is to (respectfully) show where the lower court’s decision was wrong. Through detailed analysis, fact-based reasoning, and logical construction, they must then crystallize their case through a written appellate brief, and in some cases through oral argument.
When to Consider Hiring an Appeals Leader?
According to the American Bar Association, the formative stages of the appeals process most often begins within the lower court trial process. Attention to trial rules and procedures, in addition to post-trial motions, provides the foundation upon which the appeal is based. Consulting with an appeals attorney will often result in identification of issues most promising for a favorable appeal. Careful preparation of motions for judgment as a matter of law and/or new trial basis, and creation of notices of appeal and related submissions, are key tasks that can benefit from early consultation with an appellate advocate.
The QC Law appellate team have extensive experience in drafting appellate briefs, amicus briefs, notices of appeal, statements of error, and motions for a temporary stay or an application pursuant to CPLR 5704 (review of ex parte orders). We draft and file applications for review, allowance of appeal, mandamus, and certiorari. Trial lawyers involved in high-value and complex cases routinely call on our team to help them identify and preserve issues for appellate review and draft dispositive motions, including applications seeking interim relief pending the hearing and determination of the motion. After trial, we assist with post-trial motions and briefs, – and motions for reconsideration, providing the top-shelf competence needed to manage the appeals process.
The Importance of Peer Recognition in Appellate Practice
As appellate professionals, QC Law recognizes the importance of reputation and relationship building within the legal community. Appellate judges need to know the presenting lawyer operates at the highest level of integrity and ethics, and trial lawyers need to know their clients are being cared for at a higher level of legal review. Most important, clients need assurances that they are represented by experienced appellate practitioners, who are also trusted community partners.
Within the appellate community, peer recognition is the hallmark of professionalism. Our appellate practitioners have a distinguished record of awards and accolades, including:
- “New York Leaders in Law” – Forbes Magazine
- “Leadership in Law” – New York Magazine
- “Rising Stars” – Thomson Reuters Super Lawyers
- “Top 40 Under 40” – American Society of Legal Advocates
- “Premier Trial Attorney” – American Academy of Trial Attorneys
- “Top Distinguished Attorney”- Continental Who’s Who
- “10 out of 10, Superb” – Avvo, leading attorney rating service
- “Top Legal Eagle” – Long Island Pulse Magazine
- “Leadership in Law” – Long Island Business News
QC Law has one of the most active, robust, and successful appellate practices in New York State, with precedent-setting cases cited in decisions by trial and appellate courts.
Here are summaries of decisions rendered on just some of the appeals handled by QC’s attorneys, with links to published decisions provided.