In an appeal, a higher court is asked to review and possibly overturn the decision of a lower court. Appeals may occur in either federal or state courts, for both civil and criminal cases, and may happen after trial or even after dismissal. In the latter, the appeal is likely to be in the form of a motion for summary judgment. In some matters, the convicted party has the right to appeal, but not all issues may be appealed. When a case is accepted for review, the appellate court applies standards of review to determine whether to proceed.
Appellate law is very prestigious and a highly specialized area of practice. Questions can be abstract and arcane or morally challenging. But it is a natural and necessary component of trial practice, allowing the firm to offer a comprehensive suite of services to support their clients throughout the legal process.
Representing clients on appeal entails a thorough review and reassessment of the entire case history, from depositions and police interviews to all evidence presented (or even excluded) from the court proceedings. The legal team must pore through hours of trial transcripts and motions to determine what grounds exist as a basis for filing an appeal. It requires extensive time consuming, grueling research and pointed analysis, but the essence is in the details. The outcome of the initial research phase is an appellate brief, but this is only the first step. Once in trial, the attorney arguing for the appeal must also be a shrewd and skilled oral advocate.