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Is there any advantage to having an appellate lawyer at your civil trial?

On Behalf of | Nov 16, 2020 | Civil Litigation

A business deal went south and there’s a lot of money at stake. You can’t reach any kind of resolution with the other party outside of court, so you’re heading to litigation.

You have an excellent attorney lined up, so do you really need an appellate lawyer on your team right now? You do.

No outcome is ever guaranteed at trial

No matter how good your case seems, you cannot guarantee the way that the trial will go. After all, you probably wouldn’t be heading to trial if the other party wasn’t equally convinced that their cause is obvious and just.

If the verdict isn’t what you want to hear, you’ll most likely have to make some appeals — and it’s far better to have an appellate lawyer involved now than waiting until later.

Appellate lawyers can lay the foundation for a successful appeal at trial

An appeal is never a chance to retry a case. You can’t bring in new evidence, for example, or re-question a witness. They’re based largely on interpretations of the law and an examination of the way that law is applied.

When you have an appellate lawyer on your trial team, their job is to think ahead to a possible appeal and lay a solid foundation that can help your cause. They usually do things like:

  • Advising the trial attorney about how to properly preserve errors in rulings for appeal
  • Assisting with complex evidentiary issues and objections to evidence
  • Help direct the preparation of the jury instructions with a mind toward an appeal

Having an appellate attorney on your trial team can also help if you win your case and the other party appeals. If your appellate attorney is on point, they can make it much harder for the opposition to get a verdict in your favor reversed or an award reduced.