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courtroom with scales of justiceThe pandemic-induced stay in jury trials across the country has been highly disruptive. But disruption can carry opportunities for innovation. Perhaps no model in the legal industry is more in need of updating than the composition of trial teams—a first-chair trial lawyer at the helm, an experienced subject matter expert (or three) charting the course, and a small army of associates rowing in unison. With most trials on hold for at least another six months, now is as good a time as any to reconsider the traditional model.

We offer a friendly amendment to that old model: an appellate lawyer. We’re both appellate lawyers by trade, but increasingly practice outside of appellate courts. And that is because we and many of our clients are convinced that one of the most effective and impactful places for an appellate attorney is embedded in trial court litigation.

Though there may have been a debate decades ago, it is now well-recognized that appeals are a specialty like any other, requiring unique skills, experience, and training. Because proceedings in trial court can traverse several stages over the course of years, trial practitioners pride themselves on diligent fact development, an ongoing rapport with the court, and a presence in front of the jury.

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