Appellate law is highly specialized work, requiring a skill set different from that of even the most experienced trial litigator. The critical assessment of a potential appeal or appellate writ, or the defense of an appeal or writ, requires the experience and expert knowledge of attorneys with hands‑on experience working on appeals and those with "inside" work experience as staff attorneys to appellate courts.
McCormick Barstow's Appellate Law Group features attorneys with extensive experience in both areas. Collectively, they have handled more than 200 appeals and writ proceedings in appellate courts, most through oral argument. Attorneys within this group also have many years of experience as staff attorneys in both federal and state appellate courts. This group was formed to focus and apply this considerable talent and experience.
Most often the firm is defending on appeal a successful result obtained by its litigators. But occasionally clients need to make the hard call of whether to appeal an adverse decision. Indeed, the most difficult decision is often whether to appeal at all. Attorneys within the Appellate Law Group provide frank evaluation of this issue, applying experience from the "trenches" about the context of the ruling, the various standards of appellate review and the likely response the appeal will receive in court. The attorneys' extensive history with appeals enables them to develop arguments and themes to get beyond cold legal analysis and gain the court's "ear" on the issues that count.
The combined backgrounds and working relationship among our attorneys provide clients with high quality appellate service and direction in the inevitable situations where appeals are defended or considered. These attorneys also have served as participants and moderators in seminars on appellate law, and frequently meet to discuss leading issues, new opinions, and ongoing cases.