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The Appellate Specialist

Posted on 22 February, 2017 at 11:10

An appellate specialist is simply someone who is certified by their state to specialize in appeals. However, only certain states allow for the certification and designation of a specialty in appeals. Other states simply do not recognize certifications and prohibit the use of the term "specialist." When you call attorneys in a state that does not recognize certifications and ask if they are a specialist in appeals or an appellate specialist, they will most likely tell you that the rules do not permit an attorney to hold themselves out as a specialist. In their state, they would be right.


The proper question to ask when looking for an appellate attorney, is whether the attorney is experienced in appellate law or whether they are an experienced appellate attorney. An experienced appellate attorney will have years of experience in taking an appeal, writing appellate briefs, perfecting the appeal, and arguing appeals.


Additionally, appellate attorneys generally have experience in both criminal appeals and civil appeals. This is because appellate attorneys look for appealable issues and do not retry the case. They explain to the appellate court, through their arguments, how the trial court made prejudicial legal errors during your case. These appealable errors can range from evidentiary errors to a misapplication of the relevant law. As such, appellate attorneys generally are able to handle both criminal appeals and civil appeals.


So if you are looking for an appellate specialist, you may simply not find one because your state may prohibit use of the term. What you need ask, is whether an attorney is experienced in appeals.


Written by:   Alexandra Siskopoulos, Esq.

Telephone:    (646) 942-1798

Email:          [email protected]


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Categories: Appeals 101