When a client needs a lawyer to try a construction claim, we recommend an attorney schooled in the intricacies of construction law. We do the same thing when a client seeks a litigator to defend a products liability claim. We assign an experienced commercial litigator when a client is involved in a business dispute. If a client receives a grand jury subpoena or is charged with a criminal offense, we bring in an attorney with a background in criminal law. Shouldn’t the same thing happen when a client is faced with the prospects of prosecuting or defending an appeal? At Eckert Seamans, we think so.
Appellate practice, like other areas of the law, is a specialty. It requires more than a fleeting familiarity with a set of rules different from those involved in the trials of civil or criminal cases. The presentation of a case on appeal, from the filing of the notice of appeal, through motions, briefing and argument, necessitates skills, knowledge and experience not honed in the trial courts. What may be effective advocacy before a trial judge or jury may be counter-productive when presenting a case on appeal. At Eckert Seamans, the attorneys in our Appellate Practice Group are schooled in these differences to better serve clients when they find themselves in the appellate courts.
Our Appellate Practice Group is comprised of a former Pennsylvania Attorney General, a former member of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s Appellate Courts Procedural Rules Committee, and a number of seasoned practitioners who served as law clerks on the Pennsylvania and federal appellate courts. Our attorneys have argued in the United States Supreme Court, virtually all of the federal circuit courts of appeals, as well as the Court of International Trade, the Army Court of Criminal Appeals and the Court of Appeals for the Armed Services, all of the Pennsylvania appellate courts, and the appellate courts of many other states. They have experience not only in briefing and arguing cases on appeal, but also in drafting of discretionary review petitions and motions which are oftentimes dispositive of cases on appeal. They bring a vast array of practical experience in the proper manner in which to handle any case that may confront them and to properly position the case for success on appeal. Our appellate attorneys often become involved in cases at the earliest of stages in order to guarantee that potential appellate issues are identified and preserved in order to enhance the likelihood of success in the event that an appeal becomes necessary.
Our appellate team is available to handle or to assist in any appeal in which a client may be involved. We are frequently called upon after the trial of a case to take or defend an appeal. We also are available to assist current counsel in perfecting and litigating a case on appeal. Our attorneys also have experience in preparing and filing amicus curiae or “friend of the court” briefs in cases of interest to persons or groups that are not parties to the actual dispute before the court. Our Appellate Practice Group would be happy to discuss any of these representational matters with you.
John H. Williams, Jr.
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