Appellate Specialist for Trial Counsel
Keiter Appellate Law is available to assist trial counsel. We help prepare motions for the superior court, which can enable a successful outcome at trial or prepare the best possible record for a future appeal.
Mitchell Keiter was a professor of criminal procedure and evidence and has filed both motions to suppress (for the defense) and oppositions (for the prosecution).
Our persuasive writing and legal knowledge can convince the judge — and let you focus on the jury.
What is Trial Counsel?
Trial counsel is the designation of an attorney or lawyer who represents a party at trial. However, trial counsel’s work begins long before the trial. Trial counsel investigates the facts of the case and works with clients and witnesses to develop and prepare the case for trial. During the investigation or discovery phase, trial counsel searches for evidence that will help prove a case or provide a defense to a case at trial.
While most people think an appellate attorney comes into a case only after the trial is over, adding an appellate attorney to the team before trial can help ensure success at the trial level.
Appellate attorneys are great at identifying and framing the issues of a case. With extensive experience in overturning trial court decisions or judgments, appellate attorneys know the importance of correctly framing the issue, and ensuring the jury receives correct instructions for reviewing the case.
Appellate attorneys can bring effective new ideas or strategies to the case. They know that presenting the issues clearly and succinctly for a judge or jury may be the key to a successful outcome.
Appellate attorneys also realize how vital properly drafted motions, briefs, and even jury instructions are to the outcome of a case. Appellate attorneys are also trained to look at the facts of the case to ensure a clear record is preserved for appeal.
Why You Need an Appellate Attorney to Work with Trial Counsel
In trial practice, there really is no such thing as a “slam dunk” – sometimes the cases a trial attorney feels most confident about are the cases they lose, or do not win enough for the client. Adding an experienced appellate attorney to your team can help. An appellate attorney brings a fresh perspective to the case. They are trained to focus on the trial court record, and they know how to build a case for a successful appeal.
While trial counsel works on the investigation and development of the facts of the case to present to a judge or jury, appellate attorneys sometimes see new issues or errors made by the trial court; because trial counsel is so involved in the case, these issues may not be as apparent to trial counsel.
Sometimes it is difficult for trial counsel to step back from a case to see new issues or errors made by the trial court.
Strengthening Your Argument
An appellate attorney can help trial counsel focus on the strongest or best arguments for appeal, and the issues raised on appeal must be well-framed for an effective appeal.
Appellate attorneys have experience with both:
- Identifying and presenting the issues or legal errors to the court.
- Developing compelling briefs and oral arguments that capture the attention of the judge.
Appellate Lawyers Know Their Audience
Because appellate attorneys have an extensive history of practicing before appellate court justices, they can more easily identify key issues or legal concepts that may resonate with the Court of Appeal.
They have better insight into how the appellate courts operate and how appellate justices tend to rule – whether they tend to rule more cautiously or whether they more inclined to setting new precedent. They also know how appeals are won at the appellate level and provide invaluable expertise in presenting the issues effectively.
An Unbiased Perspective
One of the most helpful contributions an appellate attorney can make to your case is a clear, objective appreciation of the facts of the case. Because they were not involved at the trial level, appellate attorneys provide a fresh perspective.
Unlike trial counsel, an appellate attorney comes into the case without any prior knowledge and involvement. This allows the appellate attorney to provide an objective view of the case which can be key to a successful appeal.
Contact an Appellate Attorney for Trial Counsel
An experienced appellate attorney can bring added value to your case – and save time and money. Whether you are still in the trial stage of a case or want to challenge a judgment or ruling, it helps to call an experienced appellate attorney, who can review the facts of your case and with an objective view to help you plan your next steps.
There may be important deadlines to file, so it is essential to contact an appellate attorney as soon as possible to ensure you preserve your right to an appeal.
Contact Mitchell Keiter at Keiter Appellate Law for a certified appellate specialist in the state of California to get help with your case.