Video instructions and help with filling out and completing Will Form 5495 Appellate

Instructions and Help about Will Form 5495 Appellate

It's sort of the difference between a shotgun and a rifle use your strongest argument develop your strongest argument if you have other arguments that the client is insisting on you making it might diminish the effectiveness of the one or two that may be really important I'm Joan Kessler I'm a judge on the first District Court of Appeals which covers Milwaukee County period I'm Gary Sherman and I'm on the 4th District Court of Appeals which sits in Madison and covers 23 counties in the southwestern part of the state the focus of the presentation today was to inform the lawyers in the audience how they can most effectively make their case on behalf of their clients to the Court of Appeals the most important thing to me is that people's arguments be logical and clear and that you know they use short sentences short paragraphs and that the logic of what they're trying to say follows clearly from sentence to sentence and doesn't just jump all over the page I think in the in the argument part of the brief it is really important to be scrupulous about the accuracy of the cases that you're citing and if they don't actually say quite what you want them to say that's when you should explain what the difference is so that we don't get the feeling that we're being misled I think it is really important most important of all is for the lawyers to to decide from the beginning what arguments are really important and persuasive and have an opportunity to win it's almost almost never that a large number of issues are so badly mishandled by the trial judge that each of them is going to be a basis for reversal and the the quantity will diminish the impact of the ones with the quality at the lawyers job in an appeal just like a lawyer's job in a courtroom is to effectively advocate on behalf of their client only in the court of appeals they're primarily advocating in writing and so it's very important that the written materials call briefs that the lawyers submit are going to effectively make their argument every time they do something that makes it harder for the judge to understand what they're trying to say they're erecting a barrier against their own advocacy they're working against their own client to put it bluntly when they do things in the brief that make it very hard for us to understand what they're trying to say the lawyers who don't include the specific order appealed from and the trial court's explanation on the record if there was one of the reasons for the order our are not doing an appropriate job for their client by the same token the lawyers who include pretty much the entire record in the appendix are not really helping us in the civil cases the the thing that is most often a difficulty is a contract or something of that nature is the the focus of the dispute and it's nearly impossible to find even if it is in the appendix because it's not set out as the first thing like this is the insurance contract instead it is attached as a exhibit otherwise unidentified to somebody's affidavit presenting a bunch of documents for summary judgment that makes it sort of a scavenger hunt going through the appendix to try to find the document that really matters that you know has to be there because that's what the whole fights about I think one thing that a lawyer can do better is to keep the preliminary matters that is at the beginning of a brief you recite the history of the case you recite the the facts of the case and you recite the issues that are presented you need to do that clearly and succinctly and to keep that part of the brief if you will brief so that the focus of what the judge is going to deal with is in the argument you know you want to use the preliminary matters to familiarize the judge with what's to come but what's to come is really what counts