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A Primer: Writing Compelling Appellate Briefs

Level: Advanced
Runtime: 91 minutes
Recorded Date: February 15, 2022
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  • Knowing the standard of review
  • Presenting a clear and concise argument
  • Persuasively stating the issues
  • Addressing factual findings
Runtime: 1 hour, 31 minutes
Recorded: February 15, 2022

For NY - Difficulty Level: For both newlyl-admitted and experienced attorneys (transitional)


Much of the art of crafting effective appellate briefs is lost due to how infrequently attorneys prepare them. The quality of the appellate brief, not the oral argument, is most often a critical factor in the likelihood of a successful appeal. Thus, educating the court about the client's case requires persuasively framing the issues, factually providing your client's story, and summarizing the argument via a connected theme. This seminar will provide techniques for crafting a compelling appellate brief for favorable rulings.

This program was recorded on February 15th, 2022.

Provided By

American Bar Association
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Meg Houlihan

Stoll Berne

Meg Houlihan is an attorney at Stoll Berne in Portland, Oregon, where she focuses on complex civil litigation matters. She has worked on cases starting at the trial level through appeals to the Ninth Circuit. Before joining Stoll Berne, Meg served as a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Morgan Christen (U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit) and the Honorable Michael Simon (U.S. District Court, District of Oregon). She attended Yale Law School and Gonzaga University.

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Jeffrey C. Gerish

Plunkett Cooney

A member of Plunkett Cooney’s Board of Directors, Jeffrey C. Gerish practices in the areas of appellate law, insurance coverage, commercial litigation and employment litigation.

Mr. Gerish is a member of Plunkett Cooney’s Appellate Law Practice Group, which is one of the only dedicated appellate practice groups in Michigan. His successful appellate representation has resulted in numerous published opinions in Michigan and Indiana, where he is also licensed and regularly practices, as well as in several federal appellate courts. He is also a member of the firm’s Insurance Coverage Practice Group.

Mr. Gerish received both his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Michigan, and he is a member of several professional organizations.

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Andrew C. Simpson

Andrew C. Simpson, P.C.

Mr. Simpson is an experienced trial and appellate attorney who has practiced law since 1988 and practiced law in the U.S. Virgin Islands since 1991. He frequently appears in the courts of the Virgin Islands and the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals. He believes in giving clients a realistic assessment of their cases at the outset of the litigation so that they can make informed decisions about pursuing litigation, settlement and/or appeals. Mr. Simpson's goal in the early assessment of the case is to ensure that, absent the development of unforeseen circumstances, the assessment of the case will not change as the case approaches trial.

Mr. Simpson is nationally recognized for his use of technology in delivering services to his clients and explaining cases to a jury. He speaks regularly at seminars on technology, including speaking at the 2008 ABA TECHSHOW. He also serves on the editorial board of the ABA's GP|Solo Technology and Practice Guide.

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