Mock Appellate Arguments

Mock Appellate Services

To be successful in appellate oral arguments, an attorney must step back and look at the case from an entirely different perspective. Appellate arguments require different skill sets than used in the trial court. Some attorneys have trouble moving beyond factual arguments, finding it hard to construct the bridge to a sound legal procedural challenge. Clearly the written brief plays a key role in setting up the appeal. However, a case is often won or lost on the initial presentation to the appellate judge and counsel’s focus on providing succinct and poignant answers to the most difficult questions.

That is why even the most accomplished appellate lawyers lean on retired appellate judges or justices for help in preparing and practicing for their appeals. As a Principal of Newman ADR, retired Justice Sandra Schultz Newman uses her experience as a former Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice to help attorneys identify likely points of contention in their briefs, to anticipate questions that will be asked, to organize the appellate argument, and to be primed and ready to give clear, crisp and on-point answers to a judge or justice’s queries.

Retired Justice Newman has supported appellate attorneys early on in cases, sitting down to informally discuss trial strategies and brief preparation. She has also delved deep into the likely questions a judge or justice will ask during oral argument, often pinpointing the vulnerabilities that need to be addressed to win the case. In addition, she has sat during mock appellate arguments where the case is actually argued and then critiqued by Justice Newman, who provides additional constructive feedback and tips on presentation effectiveness.

Attorneys who have sought Newman ADR’s assistance have reported increased clarity and confidence as they approach appeals on a range of cases in state and federal courts.