How a Freelancer Can Help With Your Appeal

Cranes_made_by_Origami_paperYou’re planning to appeal a decision. Or you know that opposing counsel is planning to do that.

How can a freelancer help you?

First, you need to know whether or not your decision is appealable. That is governed by the rules of appellate procedure, and some caselaw. An experienced freelancer can help you ferret through the decisions you’ve received and tell you what’s appealable and what’s not.

Next, you need to figure out what’s within the ambit of the appeal. You’re appealing a particular decision or two, but a variety of other determinations may be reviewable by the appellate court. A freelancer who does appellate work will be able to sort out what the court will review and what it won’t.

The next question you need to ask is what the standard of review is. That standard is the lens the appellate court will use to evaluate the strength of your position. For example, the court will look at questions of law de novo, and ask itself whether factual determinations made by the lower court are “clearly erroneous.” The distinctions between questions of law and questions of fact that govern which standard applies is not always black and white. And your case may hinge on it. A freelancer who does appellate work will know the caselaw on standards of review and help you apply that caselaw to your case.

As a trial attorney, you’re familiar with your case. You’ve been immersed in the statutes and caselaw at issue. But a freelancer can help you in three ways. First, a freelancer may be able to give you a different perspective on things. The judges may see things differently than you have. A freelancer may help give you that perspective. Second, a freelancer can help you drill down deeper into your legal authority. The appellate court will expect that. If you don’t have time to do that, or don’t want to do it, a freelancer can help do that for you. Third, the appeal may raise some new issues. New issues are not supposed to be raised for the first time on appeal. But there are always new nuances and cubbyholes of the law that pop up. A freelancer can help you with those.

Finally, a freelancer can help you format everything and do the editing. The work will snowball as you approach the briefing deadlines. A freelancer can take some of that burden off you.

Karen graduated from William Mitchell College of Law in 1986, first in her class. She then clerked for three years: one year for a Minnesota Supreme Court justice, and two years for a federal district court judge. Later she became a partner at two firms… MFAN Bio | Email | Web | LinkedIn | MFAN Posts

One Responseto “How a Freelancer Can Help With Your Appeal”

  1. Karin Ciano says:

    Great post Karen. Appeals often need a second pair of eyes – as the trial attorney it can be hard to be objective about what needs doing and whether it’s worth doing. Getting a freelancer’s perspective can help you make the best decision, and also give you the help needed if you decide to handle the appeal for the client.

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