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When a litigator wins a judgment or other appealable decision, he or she wants to savor the victory and put the case in the past. The last thing prevailing counsel wants to do is to contemplate the prospect of defending an appeal. Once an appeal has been noticed, the glow of the victory fades and so too may the case’s allure generally, as many experienced litigators view appellate practice as, at best, a necessary evil. More dangerous, however, is that these understandable reactions to the next stage of litigation can cause one to inadvertently prejudice one’s client by failing to pursue a cross-appeal. Indeed, the lines between what issues may be pressed as alternative grounds for affirmance in the principal appeal and which must be pursued through cross-appeal can be hazy, and the cross-appeal is as landmine-filled as nearly any aspect of appellate practice. The following is intended to aid the appellate practitioner—experienced and reluctant alike—as he or she assesses the need for cross-appeal after the opponent has noticed the appeal.

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