One of the most important, but often least understood, stages of litigation is the appeal. Morrison Mahoney recognizes the importance of providing experienced appellate counsel that concentrate in representing clients at this critical stage of litigation. Effective appellate advocacy requires a distinctive expertise that is unlike the skills utilized in pretrial and trial advocacy. It is on appeal that a trial court victory can be preserved, or an adverse decision can be reversed—either providing a final victory or a second chance for success in the trial court. Importantly, unlike trial court decisions, a decision by an appellate court typically affects more than just the case in question. By establishing or interpreting rules of law, an appellate decision can affect other cases for years to come. In order to effectively represent its clients on appeal, Morrison Mahoney has assembled a group of lawyers who possess both a passion and talent for in-depth legal analysis, research, and brief writing as well as the challenge of going head-to-head with a panel of appellate judges at oral argument.
Morrison Mahoney's Appellate Practice Group consists of lawyers that have represented clients in literally hundreds of appeals in both state and federal appellate courts, as well as in appeals in administrative proceedings. Our appellate lawyers also provide specialized services beyond conventional appeals, including petitions for interlocutory relief of trial court proceedings, preparation of friend-of-the-court briefs, as well as other appellate writs and applications. Each of our principle attorneys in the appellate practice group has at least a decade, if not more, of experience in representing clients in all stages of appellate proceedings across the country, and in many different areas of the law. Those attorneys maintain their concentration in appellate advocacy.
Although our lawyers most often act as lead appellate counsel in cases that the firm has already handled through trial, we also routinely handle appeals in which we were not involved when the case was tried. By way of a thorough review of the trial court record and other relevant materials, and by consulting both with the client and the lawyers who represented the client at trial, we can provide a fresh perspective on the case and can present the strongest arguments on behalf of the client on appeal. Additionally, Morrison Mahoney's Appellate Practice Group provides evaluation services in appeals, even if we do not actually handle the appeal. Our attorneys can provide an opinion on whether an appeal is practicable or defensible; which arguments have the greatest chance of success; and the probability of success on appeal. This "second opinion" can be of great value to the client in deciding whether to proceed on appeal, or how legal resources can best be directed in pursing the appeal.