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5 Qualities of a Good Appellate Attorney

A verdict isn’t always the end of the road for a defendant. They can appeal the ruling with help from an appeal lawyer. However, appellate attorneys operate differently compared to trial lawyers. For example, an appeal lawyer is concerned with convincing the appellate court why their client’s side should prevail. They get involved after a case is lost or won at the trial court level. 

If you are looking for an appellate lawyer, here are a few qualities to consider. 


Experience is one of the most critical factors that an appellate lawyer must possess. Make sure the appeal lawyer has post-conviction proceeding experience. Appellate advocacy is more about analyzing trial records and other related documents. A bookish knowledge of appellate practice wouldn’t give the lawyer the insight necessary to handle a case. 

Communication Skills

Communication skills are an indispensable asset for trial and appeal lawyers. If the lawyer cannot communicate clearly with the clients, how can they argue their case before the court? 

An appeal lawyer must have the skills to use words clearly and concisely. Too many appeal reviews are dismissed because the brief is too long or irrelevant issues are raised in the brief. An appellate attorney must consider the judge’s perspective and respect their time constraints. 

Good Analytical Skills

An appellate attorney must have exceptional analytical skills to review the trial records and look for issues that reflect errors that can be the basis for the appellate arguments. They must know the law and have good judgment. These skills are essential when writing briefs and exploring the implications of a case.

Writing Skills

Not all appellate proceedings go through oral arguments. Instead, they are often decided based on the written brief. A good appeal lawyer understands the importance of a good brief. It must be written concisely and coherently. Appellate judges have to go through hundreds of briefs and have little patience to read through convoluted ones. 


Appellate advocacy is expensive because of the amount of work involved. Most of the work consists of researching and analyzing the trial records to create appellate briefs that bring out the issues. 

While a cheap appeal lawyer is more likely to be inexperienced, an expensive attorney cannot always justify their fees. At Brownstone Law, Robert Sirianni and his team offer a flat fee structure to their clients. This structure ensures that the charges are competitive and transparent. 

Are you looking for experienced appellate attorneys? Visit us to learn more


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