Harman Claytor’s Appellate Practice Group has offices in both Virginia and Washington, DC and regularly represents clients in critical matters before federal and state appellate courts. Our appellate litigators have developed a strong appellate track record, profound subject-matter knowledge across numerous disciplines, and a reputation for excellence among local members of the judiciary and the larger legal community.
Wise trial lawyers recognize the value of associating new counsel on appeal. Our appellate litigators are able to make objective, dispassionate judgments on critical matters such as selection of the key issues for appeal.
Of equal or even greater importance:
An appellate attorney can do a better job because he . . . knows the appellate court’s rules, customs, and judges. More important, appellate lawyers know how to write a brief and make an oral argument, and do both efficiently and quickly. There is more to this than just repetition and familiarity. The way you argue and write for appeals is different from the same tasks at the trial level. An emotional, almost visceral approach can work at trial, but appellate work is usually more restrained and academic. A person at home with one style may not be comfortable with the other.
D. Owens, “New Counsel on Appeal?,” in ABA Section of Litigation, The Litigation Manual: Special Problems and Appeals (3d Ed., 1999) at 72.
Our appellate litigators also regularly try cases in addition to briefing and arguing appeals. We are a valuable “second chair” to your trial team. Freed of primary responsibility for managing the multitude of details that must be handled efficiently and effectively to succeed at trial, we are fully responsible for selected witnesses, exhibits, cross-examinations, motions, and jury instructions, while at the same time taking responsibility for assuring that points are preserved and the record is protected for an appeal. Our appellate team can help you avoid your civil appeal from being dismissed on a procedural default.
Appellate Practice ContactsDanielle D. Giroux
Julie S. Palmer
George A. Somerville