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Appeals Information for Attorneys

Appellate work is not trial work, plain and simple. It takes a different skill set and unique talent to pursue. Appellate judges are receptive to different arguments than juries. There are requirements in the different judicial departments of New York for everything from the number of pages to the types of case citations to be included. It can be overwhelming to attempt to practice both trials and appeals. In light of that, Parisi, Coan & Saccocio, PLLC is uniquely equipped to help your clients through the appellate process. Steven V. DeBraccio heads the appeals department of the firm. He was the Managing Editor of Albany Law Review, a summa cum laude graduate of Albany Law School, and has worked on appeals for years in a myriad of topics and positions. Here are just a few tools that Steven and the Parisi, Coan & Saccocio, PLLC team bring to appeals:

  • Issue-spotting: comprehensively reviewing the record on appeal to determine which issues are the most likely to be successful, while dispensing with other issues to avoid the unwanted “kitchen sink” or “throw everything against the wall and see what sticks” approach.

  • Researching cases: finding the very best ones for your client that are the most authoritative, the most helpful, and the most recent.

  • Brief drafting: everything from the question presented to the statement of facts to the argument, even down to drafting point headings and subheadings; all of it is crucial. It takes a particular set of skills to draft a clear, concise, winning appellate brief.

  • Reviewing the adversary’s cases: checking the adversary’s “homework” to make sure the adversary fairly and correctly characterized the propositions and points of law brought up from his or her cases, and bringing to the Court’s attention when the adversary makes a major mistake in doing so.

  •  Drafting an effective reply brief (if representing an appellant): mentioning the adversary’s misplaced analysis or misstatements of the facts or the law, bringing the case back to the core facts and cases cited in the original brief and bringing any new cases to light that may assist the Court.

  • Providing effective oral argument: as with drafting the brief, picking a few issues to discuss in the limited time provided by the Court and emphasizing points discussed in the brief and effectively answering questions the Court may have about the argument and the adversary’s argument.

These are proven steps that Steven has used in his practice for years and obtained positive results for clients along the way.


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