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Top 5 Appellate Courtrooms in America

Posted on 15 April, 2021 at 13:50

This country has some pretty great appellate courtrooms. It is always exciting to present your case at oral argument, but it is even more enthralling when you appear before one of the great appellate courtrooms in our nation. We have had the opportunity of being in some of America’s great appellate courtrooms and here is our top 5 list:


Number 5 (tie) - Massachusetts Court of Appeals – These courtrooms are not as imposing as their sister courtroom at the Supreme Judicial Court, but both appellate courtrooms at the Massachusetts Court of Appeals are a great environment to make your argument. These are well proportioned courtrooms that possess a New England air to them – classy, not too ornate and have a timeless appeal. For whatever reason, these courtrooms lend themselves to a certain electricity lacking in some other appellate arenas. A great environment to argue an appellate matter.


Number 5 (tie)- New York Appellate Division, Second Department- This is a rich and elegant room. The intricate details of the ceiling are not truly captured by pictures. The ambiance here is one of gravitas and old school charm. It feels like a centuries old library belonging to an English university. A warm, comforting room that serves as a great place to make an appellate argument.


Number 4- Second Circuit Court of Appeals- This courtroom is grand in scale and its most memorable image is the captivating detail work upon the ceiling. Again, this is a large room and the appellate judges are quite some distance from the attorneys. However, this adds to the elegance and relaxed nature of this particular courtroom. Although situated in NYC, this courtroom has the elegant, lush feel of the Pebble Beach golf course in California. It is plush and serene yet not overly extravagant. A fine appellate courtroom.


Number 3- Indiana Supreme Court- This is the grand dame of appellate courtrooms. If the Wardolf Astoria ever constructed an appellate courtroom, then this would be the one for its clientele. This is an ornate, large room befitting the highest court of the state. Interestingly, this is a large courtroom, but the appellate attorneys are stationed at close proximity with the appellate panel. This creates a very striking tone whereas the natural electricity of argument is heightened by the proximity of the participants, but at the same time you are always well aware of the vast nature of this special legal arena. This courtroom truly is a gem.


Number 2- Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts- This courtroom is where America’s oldest appellate body holds court. This courtroom is reminiscent of a Fortune 500 board room where things get done. The weighty nature of this courtroom strikes you as soon as you enter the room. At some point, you think Anthony Hopkins will come from behind the curtain and hold a board meeting for his trillion dollar company, but then you remember this is an appellate courtroom where legal issues are decided. To a certain extent, more important business is handled at the SJC. Finally, this room has the best ambient lighting of any appellate courtroom in America. A cinematographer must have constructed this appellate masterpiece. The SJC courtroom is an entrancing experience.


Number 1- New York Appellate Division, First Department- The previous listings are all incredible appellate courtrooms. However, the First Department courtroom is akin to stepping inside a heavenly body. This is not a courtroom for mere mortals. It is timeless. It is overwhelmingly beautiful. It is America’s finest appellate courtroom. The intricate murals on the walls and the extravagant stained glass dome that hovers above the court reminds the attorneys that they are engaging in legal combat in the pantheon of appellate courtrooms. This is unquestionably the finest appellate courtroom in the United States.


Written by: John V. Siskopoulos, Esq. and Alexandra Siskopoulos, Esq.

Telephone: (646) 942-1798

Email: [email protected]


If you have a civil appeal or criminal appeal and would like to speak with an appellate attorney at Siskopoulos Law Firm, LLP, contact us at either (646) 942-1798 or (617) 959-1628.


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Categories: Appellate Attorneys