Does preparing an appeal involve a special set of legal skills?

Pursuing post-conviction relief or the filing of an appeal requires extensive legal preparation, as some local law students recently discovered.

The third-year law students at the University of Tennessee spent nearly a year getting an immigration case ready for appeal. Their work involved preparing the record, drafting the appeal documents, and preparing for oral arguments. The basis of their appeal included a number of arguments, implicating constitutional law.

Yet perhaps even more revealing is how the students described the emotional impact of the experience. Since their client was facing deportation, they felt like the stakes were extremely high.

As a law firm that focuses on post-conviction relief and appeals, we understand that clients in need of our services are often facing very unfavorable circumstances, such as imprisonment, fines or the loss of other liberties. Both the stakes and the law required to prepare an effective appeal are not necessarily the same as the work that goes into preparing for trial the first time around. Said another way, trial and appellate law are actually two distinct practice areas. For that reason, it could be in a criminal defendant's best interest to seek different representation when pursuing an appeal.

Fortunately, our law firm focuses on criminal defense strategies at both the trial and appellate level. We can represent our clients through the entire course of a case, beginning with the arraignment, and progressing through trial or even appeal preparations. Our web page profiles our criminal law practice areas, and illustrates the extensive experience we have gained from helping clients who have been accused of federal crimes, drunk driving charges, immigration and deportation crimes, and other offenses.

Source: Tennessee Today, "UT Law Students Argue Cases before US Court of Appeals," Roger Hagy, April 21, 2016

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Patrick T. McNally, Attorney at Law
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