Appellate Advocacy Blog

Many years ago, I was a lucky law clerk working for a wonderful judge at the Ninth Circuit’s Pasadena courthouse. One early morning, as I was admiring the flowers growing at the entrance to the gorgeous courthouse, I saw Judge…
Continue Reading Western Justice Center Gives Ninth Circuit Senior Judge Dorothy Nelson a Lifetime Achievement Award

Many years ago, Betty S. Flowers proposed thinking about the drafting process in terms of four different personalities: the Madman, the Architect, the Carpenter, and the Judge. Each should have its turn at the helm during the writing process. For…
Continue Reading The personalities of drafting; or, why I learned to stop worrying and started outlining more

I am participating in a Scribes CLE that might be of some interest to readers of this blog. Details below: Webinar – No Laughing Matter: Pop Culture References and Humor in Judicial Writing – October 19 at 12:00 p.m. CDT…
Continue Reading Free CLE: No Laughing Matter: Pop Culture References and Humor in Judicial Writing – October 19 at 12:00 p.m. CDT

A good reputation is one of the most valuable assets a lawyer can have. Establishing and maintaining credibility as an appellate advocate is especially important. In addition to generally wanting an appellate court to think well of you, credibility plays an important part in being persuasive.

Appellate advocates often appear in the same courts over and over. So, what are ways you can ensure that you have credibility with those courts?

1. Be a zealous advocate. Make a substantive effort for your client. Within the bounds of ethics and professionalism, use tools of persuasion. Use confident language and seek to
Continue Reading Credibility as an appellate advocate