Related: Bashman Archive

The very first thing that the federal appellate judge for whom I clerked would read when a new set of appellate briefs reached his desk was the trial court’s opinion. This just goes to show that, if you’re representing on appeal a party that lost in the trial court, not only do you have to convince appellate judges that the trial court’s ruling was erroneous, you also have to overcome the fact that the appellate judges’ introduction to the case likely consisted of reading the trial judge’s explanation for why the ruling challenged on appeal is correct.