Led by William W. “Billy” Wilkins, former chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, Nexsen Pruet’s Appellate Advocacy Group provides clients a high level of experience, skill and knowledge. We are tenacious advocates whose foremost concern is for the well being of the individuals and institutions we serve.
Our attorneys recognize that the key to a successful appeal is the ability to present a logical, thoroughly researched legal argument in a compelling manner. Critical to that is an understanding that appellate is very different from trial practice. It is about the application of the law to the facts, not making emotional arguments. We have the ability to state cases and frame legal issues in the most convincing manner possible.
We also know that having a case that is strong on technical merits often isn’t enough. The law and the facts have to make sense. We have deep experience in the essential tools of presenting our clients’ positions persuasively:
- Brief writing: Often considered the centerpiece of the appeal, written briefs must be well researched, straightforward, clear, and concise. Our attorneys prepare written briefs that are direct and forceful, raising the right arguments and stressing the right facts in the right way.
- Oral arguments: We focus on the legal arguments rather than just the facts in oral presentations, and understand how to respond to judges’ questions effectively, without losing sight of our clients’ goals and positions.
Deep knowledge of a challenging process
In addition to having the technical and legal skills required to make the strongest possible case, Nexsen Pruet’s appellate lawyers also offer clients another advantage: A thorough understanding of the appellate process.
This is critical because a wide range of challenges and hurdles – many of them hidden – can surface during an appeal. We know where they are and how to overcome them, helping clients navigate the complex rules that are at the core of the process.
Our appellate lawyers often work with Nexsen Pruet's litigation counsel during the pre-trial, trial, and post-trial stages of a case. This level of collaboration has proved highly beneficial to clients when the litigators address discovery and other pretrial motions, jury instructions, and other issues vital to the protection and preservation of the record on appeal. We have also been frequently asked to monitor and/or consult on trials conducted by other firms. We represent clients before government agencies and state and federal courts.
Caitlin Mitchell explains North Carolina's recently adopted and required universal citation format and its impact on opinions.