Friday, December 21, 2018


The Appellate Prosecutor: A Practical and Inspirational Guide to Appellate Advocacy is a book for appellate advocates. However, its nuts and bolts coverage of how to be persuasive is valuable for any attorney who will write a brief or argue before the bench. Its pointers on brief writing and argument are invaluable.

Judge Charles Moylan, thirty-year veteran of the appellate bench and renowned lecturer put it this way:

"This work in my judgment will find an indispensable place on the desk, or at the bedside on the night before argument, of every successful appellate prosecutor. "

Authors for this book are some of the best-of-the-best teachers and authorities on how to be an effective appellate advocate. They were selected from across the country and include appellate prosecutors from attorney general’s and prosecutor’s offices as well as appellate judges and justices and a law professor.
Here is what others have said about the book:

"I have been a prosecutor for 25 years, and have spent about half of that time handling writs and appeals. I thought I knew what I was doing, but in reading your book I found myself thinking many times, ‘Oh! So that's how I'm supposed to do it!’ Thanks again for publishing a great book!"
Michael D. Schwartz, Senior Deputy District Attorney
Writs, Appeals and Training Supervisor, Ventura, CA

"I have attended many appellate practice seminars. Few of those presentations were as helpful to the appellate litigator as those in this book, whose topics range from the obvious (persuasive brief writing and oral argument techniques) to the practical (books and online research resources, complete with website addresses) to the sublime (standards of review). . . . I will surely use it in my own civil appellate work and I heartily recommend it to all lawyers interested in improving theirs."
Annina Mitchell, Utah Solicitor General


· Persuasion, Planning and Analysis for Appellate Advocacy – The building blocks of persuasion and how to use them in appellate advocacy.
· Writing the Persuasive Brief – How to effectively craft the three major sections of the brief.
· The Key to Good Legal Writing.
· A Sample Appellate Brief Template.
· Appellate Strategies – How to: find procedural and other bars; uncover flaws in Appellant’s brief; determine the real issue; enhance your credibility with the court and more.
· Research Resources: An Appellate Lawyer’s Tools of the Trade – Internet sites, prosecutor association information banks and written resources for appellate prosecutors.
· Standards of Review: The First Line of Defense.
· Protecting the Record for Appeal: Advice to the Trial Prosecutor.
· Professional Responsibility on Appeal – How to respond to ethical dilemmas that confront appellate prosecutors.
· Prosecutor Appeals - Eight considerations that may influence your decision to appeal.
· Successful Appellate Oral Advocacy.
· Appellate Court Conferencing of Cases – How appellate courts
conference and how that can effect your advocacy.
· Answering the Difficult Questions from the Bench.
· Inspirational Words for the Appellate Advocate.

An example of the contents of The Appellate Prosecutor is the chapter written by Justice Paul Anderson of the Minnesota Supreme Court. In his chapter, Justice Anderson states:

“Appellate judges enjoy asking questions. It is our lifeblood. It is how we seek to understand a case, eliminate ambiguity, and test a proposed rule of law. We do not purposely think up difficult questions to put appellate advocates on the spot. Nevertheless, many of our questions are difficult to answer because we are testing or probing in an effort to solve complex legal problems. 

“Most good appellate advocates welcome difficult questions because they know that this is how they can engage in a dialogue with the court. They know that it is only through such a dialogue that they and the court can act together to explore the nuances of complex legal issues. But not all appellate advocates appreciate difficult questions; many view them as a necessary burden. Why is there this difference? Generally speaking, it can be characterized as a difference in attitude, anticipation, expectation and preparation. By using the foregoing attributes properly, an advocate is able to significantly change the dynamics of oral argument so that even the most difficult questions are welcome or at least palatable. Fortunately, some principles and practices enable an advocate to successfully field the difficult questions. What follows are a few of these principles.”

Justice Anderson’s principles, insights and points include: 
·                Entering the Dialogue: The Gift; Listen and Respond to the Question Asked and The Courteous Conversationalist

·                Preparation and Anticipation: How the Court Prepares and How the Court Views Your Case - The Three Categories

·                Answering Particular Types of Questions: The Premature Question; The Softball Question; The Stupid Question; The Nasty Hypothetical Question and Opposing Counsel's Questions

·                A Final Word About Preparation

Read Justice Anderson’s entire chapter here. If you find that chapter valuable, consider acquiring
The Appellate Prosecutor book.

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