Nothing is more important to the success of your case on appeal than the content and quality of your appellate brief. Lawyers whose appellate briefs fail to explain clearly and convincingly why their client deserves to win on appeal, and why the trial court's rulings were wrong or right, significantly decrease the client's chances of winning and complicate the appellate court's efforts to reach the right result.

Bashman’s appellate briefs are concise and well-written, present legal arguments in an easy to understand and persuasive manner, and set forth the facts and procedural history in a non-argumentative style that nonetheless advances the client’s interests. The assertion that any lawyer can write an effective appellate brief is simply not true. Just as a client deserves the best trial lawyer for its jury trial and the best transactional lawyer to negotiate and document a corporate deal, a client deserves an experienced, talented, and highly regarded appellate advocate when its case goes on appeal.

Bashman has participated in “beauty contests” in which prospective clients that seek and can afford to hire the best appellate advocates have reviewed the briefs he has written in other appeals and have decided to hire him. Other clients, after their in-house attorneys have reviewed Bashman’s appellate briefs, have decided to send him appellate work in cases that other law firms had previously handled. Bashman has filed hundreds of appellate briefs, ranging from briefs filed on the merits in the U.S. Supreme Court to briefs filed in a wide variety of federal and state appellate courts.

In each and every matter, Bashman seeks to produce the best possible appellate briefs in a cost-effective manner. Moreover, the briefs will be prepared in a timely fashion, allowing sufficient opportunity for review and comment in advance of the filing deadline. Most of the appellate briefs that Bashman has written have been filed in cases where he had no previous involvement, providing him with the same perspective on a case that the appellate judges will have.

Before becoming an appellate lawyer in private practice, Bashman worked for two years as a law clerk to a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. The experience revealed that high quality appellate advocacy wins cases and that the pedestrian (or worse) quality of appellate advocacy practiced by most lawyers can lose cases. It also demonstrated that the vast majority of appellate briefs do a poor job of communicating the facts, procedural history, and legal arguments in a manner helpful either to the appellate court or the party submitting the brief.

Appellate judges are incredibly overworked. Preparing for just a single week of oral argument requires them to read the briefs in approximately forty cases. Over a year, the typical appellate judge reads more than 100,000 pages of briefs. If an appellate brief is not well-written or well-reasoned, if it is not persuasive and easy to understand, or if it contains convoluted sentences, dense prose, or distracting typographical errors, appellate judges may gloss over the text of the brief instead of exerting the effort needed to comprehend and be persuaded by it.

Appellate briefs written in a lively, understated, and persuasive fashion are likely to convince appellate judges; briefs employing heated rhetoric and overstatement, or written in an overconfident tone, using emphatic, unequivocal, and conclusory terms, are likely to fail to persuade.

An experienced appellate advocate is also keenly aware that appellate judges create and are constrained by precedent. The abilities to demonstrate how a case either is or is not governed by precedent and to argue for a particular rule of law in an area bereft of precedent rank high among Bashman’s skills.

Clients of all sizes and sophistication are now more aware than ever that appellate practitioners add significant value. By clicking here, you can access examples of appellate briefs that Bashman has recently filed in various appellate courts.

 




 

Law Offices of
Howard J. Bashman

2300 Computer Avenue
Suite G-22
Willow Grove, PA 19090
Phone: (215) 830-1458
Telecopy: (215) 830-1459
hjb@hjbashman.com

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