On Law360, H&L's David Axelrad offer some client-centered advice in 3 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Hiring Appellate Counsel. Every good appellate lawyer should (1) be able to help build and preserve the record; (2) know appellate procedures inside and out; (3) carefully and dispassionately review the record to find prejudicial error; (4) research effectively and comprehensively; (5) draft a factually compelling story; and (6) present a focused oral argument.
But what are the 3 questions?
1) Will Any Appellate Lawyer Do? Answer: No, because some appellate specialists are more experienced than others, some specialize in different sorts of appeals, or have more experience in certain courts, and prices vary.
2) When Should Appellate Counsel be Hired? Answer: The sooner the better. "[A]ppellate counsel may be needed before and during, as well as after trial."
3) Is It Worth Spending the Money to Hire Appellate Counsel? Answer: Appeals can be expensive. The money spent on an appeal has to be balanced with what's at stake in the case at hand, as well as possible important precedential effects.
The Bottom Line: "Carefully selected, experienced appellate counsel can be an invaluable addition to both the trial and post-trial team handling any significant litigation."