Appellate attorneys. What is their job?


In most cases, filing an appeal with the court takes a lot of time and effort. Time is of the essence in jurisprudence. If the appeal is not filed in the correct form and within the strict deadlines, then you may lose your only chance to appeal the case.

Preparing an appeal includes filing a Notice of Appeal, ordering a transcript from the trial court, and ordering a transcript from a court reporting company.

Therefore, if there is an appeal, then the most reasonable thing to do would be to contact an appellate attorney.

The appellate attorney deals with legal research, writing and analysis. This set of skills can be useful at any stage of a trial.


How can an appellate attorney help?

Client analysis and evaluation of the appeal

The main thing that a lawyer focuses on when working with a client is his needs and the reasons for filing an appeal.

Each client has his own expectations from the appeal of the ruling. After analyzing all the information on the case, and evaluating the client's real chances of success, the lawyer will tell you whether or not to start the appeal process.

The lawyer will identify specific issues that may be raised in the appeal, analyze and evaluate them. Then, based on the results of the analysis, he will conclude what evidence will be needed for further appeal.

The evaluation process requires a comparison of the substance and likely outcome of the appeal against the cost of the appeal.

The participation of an appellate attorney already at the initial stages of the process, before filing an appeal with the court, ensures that the case is presented in a favorable light, which will undoubtedly give a positive result in the trial.


Calculation of expenses

The appellate attorney will submit a cost report, which will depend more on how difficult the appeal process is going to be.

Appeal costs include: 

Fee for filing an appeal;

Expenses for filing an appeal and transcript of the appeal protocol. The appellant must pay for the preparation of a verbatim record of the proceedings and file an application with the Court of Appeal.

New York filing fees for a Supreme Court appeal include: Filing a Record of Appeal $315 and Motion/Cross-motion $45

Attorney's fees;

This is usually the largest expense item in an appeal. Fees vary depending on the lawyer's hourly rate, area of practice, the experience of the lawyer, and the complexity of the case.

Attorney's fees on appeal can range from $7,500 to $15,000.

Other party attorney's fees;

An appellant who does not win on appeal may be required to pay the other party's attorney's fees in addition to his own expenses.


The appellant will have to pay interest on any judgment rendered in the trial court until that judgment is upheld.



The task of the appellate attorney is to inform the client about the nature of the appeal process, the impact of the revision standard, and the limited retrials available in the Court of Appeals.

The lawyer will explain to the client how the Court of Appeal works and the stages of the case.

And also about the methods of evading a decision, which are used by the courts of appeal in accordance with the doctrines of harmless error, error retention and standard of review on appeal.

A harmless error is an error made by a trial judge in the conduct of a trial, which in the opinion of the Court of Appeal, did not sufficiently effect the appellant's right to a fair trial in order to justify an annulment of the conviction or justify a new trial.

Error retention is a method of posing questions and arguments during a trial so that they can later be considered by an Court of Appeal. If the issue is not properly resolved, it will be considered dismissed by the Court of Appeal and will not be considered.

Standard of review on appeal:

  • questions of law. De novo review standard - the Court of Appeal reviews the trial court's decision as if the trial court had not ruled.
  • questions of fact. The standard of review for clear error - the Court of Appeal determines that the trial court's facts finding is clearly erroneous.
  • matters of procedure or discretion. Abuse of discretion review standard - the Court of Appeal reviews a "discretionary" decision by a trial judge who erred clearly, exercised discretion not justified by the evidence, or rendered a decision that clearly contradicts the facts.

The appellate attorney has a clear understanding of the nature of the issue raised in the appeal and the applicable standard for dealing with it, and understands how that standard applies to a particular appeal.


Preserving records

The Court of Appeal will consider only those questions, arguments and objections that are properly preserved for consideration in the Court of Appeal by the appropriate objection or offer of evidence in the trial court.

Preserving records by a lawyer can save time and money when filing an appeal with the court.


Drafting pleadings. Filing an application

The appeal includes drafting of pleadings: motions, notes, evidence and testimony filed during the trial.

The drafting of a petition requires a thorough study of the case materials, immersion in the essence of the relations of the parties, and deep knowledge of the law, since the specialist drafting the petition is faced with the task of finding facts that were not taken into account or misinterpreted by the trial court.


Ordering transcripts and minutes

Transcripts must be ordered for any hearing that results in an unfavorable outcome. These appeal documents - minutes and transcripts - are the only evidence that will be considered by the Court of Appeal. This stage can take several days of work.


Writing summaries and briefs

The appellate attorney spends most of his work studying and writing summaries that give the main argument to prove to the higher court that the lower court erred.

The appellate attorney writes a brief, studying in detail the entire protocol and each transcript, in order to search for possible errors.


Development of a strategy for a new trial

The appeal is the last opportunity to achieve the desired result in court. Therefore, it is extremely important to develop a backup plan in advance to achieve success.

The appellate attorney impartially and objectively approaches the analysis of the case, which allows him to draw up an effective strategy to achieve the best ruling.


Oral arguments

Sometimes, the final stage of the appeal defense may be an oral presentation before a panel of judges. Each side usually gets about twenty minutes to state their position.

Although oral argumentation takes a little time, the appellate attorney spends hours preparing — studying the arguments and case law in support of your case and practicing their presentation. The appellate attorney must be prepared to answer a wide range of questions from the panel of judges on any aspect of the case.


Your New York Appellate Attorney.


65 years of combined legal experience!


It's never too early to apply for a possible appeal.

With extensive experience in successful cases in New York Court of Appeal, Sharova Law Firm's team of appeal attorneys assists and advises litigants while the case is still in the trial court.

Contact us for a free consultation at any time convenient for you.

Contact number: +1(212)321-0741.

We appreciate the confidence placed in us by our clients, therefore we are available for you 24/7



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