Particularly in cases involving significant legal issues, it is imperative that the record, including the correct legal arguments, is sufficient to put the case in the optimal appellate posture. That may involve the firm drafting and arguing a motion for summary disposition, or a motion for post-judgement relief. It may also involve the advising of taking certain legal position in framing the case.
Attorneys are also supposed to be counselors. That means giving a frank appraisal of the advisability of any appeal, as well as limiting issues (where one is advisable) to those with a realistic chance of success. Close consultation with trial counsel and the client is vital to that service.
The brief is by far the single most important component of any appeal. Success is almost entirely dependent on the quality of the brief. Preparation of the brief is therefore the most important appellate service any appellate attorney can render.
Oral argument is an opportunity to ascertain the judges' inclinations, and to provide any necessary clarification. Although appellate counsel must be thoroughly familiar with the case, the judges do not want to hear a detailed recitation. Cases are virtually never won at oral argument, because by that point the judges know how they are inclined to rule - based on the brief.
Whether to pursue and unfavorable decision to the Michigan Supreme Court is another subject for counseling the client. Leave is granted in very few cases, but other forms of relief may be available. A realistic assessment of the chances of obtaining relief is necessary to allow the client to make an informed decision as to whether and how to proceed.
AREAS OF EXPERTISE
Personal Injury Defense