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MUNICIPAL LAWYERS PLAY ROLE IN SHAPING APPELLATE LAW To the editor: I enjoyed Tony Mauro’s article on lawyers increasingly recognizing the excellent appellate opportunities in state AG’s offices [" Stating Their Case," Aug. 11, 2003]. Because the article focused on Supreme Court clerks who become state solicitors general, I thought I would point out another underappreciated, overlooked appellate practice opportunity that is perhaps more applicable to the rest of us — appellate units of city and county law departments (also called corporation counsels, city solicitors, etc.). All major cities have such offices. They represent mayors and other city officials, and handle extremely interesting and varied issues in both state and federal courts. I practiced in Philadelphia’s City Solicitor’s Office, in the Appeals Unit, and had a terrific experience, arguing frequently in the 3rd Circuit as well as state appellate courts. Often the constitutional issues facing cities and counties are more interesting and complex than those facing states, because states enjoy greater immunities from suits than cities and counties, and because cities and counties have more flexibility than states to experiment with novel programs that get challenged in court. The quality of the lawyering in appellate divisions of city law departments can also be very high, and lawyers in these offices get wide responsibility for crafting arguments, writing briefs, and presenting oral argument. Marcia Berman Bethesda, Md.

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