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How to Set Up an Appellate Brief

Appellate Brief

What are Appellate Briefs?

The appellate brief is a fundamental litigation process offered to those individuals who were found guilty in a lower court system; appellate briefs offer an individual to re-evaluate their case and their verdict in hopes of reversing the unfavorable verdict. The filing of an appellate brief requires strict adherence to the regulations and procedural rules latent in the appeal process.

That being said, each appellate court in the United States possesses their own regulations and rules that are delivered in accordance with the underlying jurisdictions particular policy. Regardless of this differentiation; however, all appellate briefs are filed by the guilty party’s legal professional.

The appellate brief is therefore the legal document that acts as the foundation for an individual’s appeal; without an appellate brief a previous decision may not be re-evaluated.

Appellate briefs do not distribute any new information, evidence or witness testimonials to the particular appellate court; the appellate brief is simply used as a means to re-evaluate the case by a different judicial body.

The appellate brief, therefore, questions the previous decisions adherence to the rule of law but will re-evaluate the case using the same evidence, testimonials and procedure that is found in the American judicial system. The ability to appeal a verdict may be initiated by the majority of guilty candidates; however, the process is costly and time-consuming so understanding the intricacies with your particular case and acknowledging the various rules and regulations of your particular jurisdiction is essential to facilitate an appeal.

How to formulate an Appellate Brief:

As stated before, only the facts and testimonials that were established in the lower court trial are available to construct the appellate brief. An appellate brief has two fundamental parts: the written brief itself and in some cases, an oral argument. The majority of appellate judges agree that oral arguments factor in only about 10 to 30 percent of appellate cases; as a result of this relative insignificance, the majority of appellate judges will base their decisions solely on the written appellate brief.

The first step in creating an appellate brief is to review the rules of procedure for the underlying jurisdiction. These rules will determine all specifics associated with appellate briefs, including: the font size, the cover format, time constraints and content restrictions.

To reiterate, all appellate briefs are constructed and subsequently filed by a litigation professional. As a result of this process, the legal professional must be familiar with the case in question. The writer of the appellate brief therefore must have access to the entire record, including all information exchanged in the discovery phase, all motions, pleadings transcripts and the judgment attached to the previous trial.

Once all information has been obtained and reviewed, the appellate brief must be constructed in a highly-systematic and organized way. The ability to compile a plethora of information into a streamlined document is essential when constructing appellant briefs; to deliver a sound appellate brief the litigant must engage in numerous and stringent review processes to ensure that the information is highly-organized and easy to decipher.

NEXT: How to Write an Appeal Letter

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