Writing to Win at Court of Appeals


How To Write A Winning Appellate Brief In Michigan

If you have lost in a circuit court criminal trial, Michigan criminal law provides that you have "an appeal by right" to the Michigan Court of Appeals. Where you are appealing by right, the Michigan Court of Appeals will review your conviction for reversible errors made by the trial judge, the prosecutor or your trial defense counsel.

You may also petition the court for a "discretionary appeal" following a guilty plea, a sentence following a guilty plea, or an "interlocutory appeal" (an appeal made on an issue before a trial has concluded). If an appeal is unsuccessful, the party may also seek leave to appeal with the Michigan Supreme Court.

Whether appealing as a right, or as a discretionary matter, an experienced Michigan appellate attorney must draft a compelling "appellate brief" setting forth the argument for granting your appeal.

Writing an appellate brief can be daunting, however by understanding a few key points, a knowledgeable Michigan appellate attorney can prepare a winning appellate brief.

The Michigan Criminal Appeals Attorneys At Grabel & Associates Have Years Of Experience Helping Clients Through The Appeals Process

At Grabel & Associates, our criminal appellate attorneys have years of experience helping clients successfully appeal their convictions and sentences. We understand the various procedural steps involved in appeals and are skilled in writing compelling briefs that place your case in the best light to obtain the results you deserve. Attorney Scott Grabel served as a prehearing clerk at the Michigan Court of Appeals and is a member of the prestigious Michigan Supreme Court Advocates Guild. For more than 10 years he has successfully handled appeals across the state and understands the keys to writing and arguing winning appellate briefs.

Our Michigan Appellate Attorneys Understand How To Write A Winning Appellate Brief

By following a few key points, our team of appellate attorneys have successfully written numerous appellate briefs and helped clients get the second chance they deserve.

Top Criminal Appellate Attorneys Write In A Way That's Easily Understood

Appellate briefs are read and evaluated by at least three different parties-a pre-hearing lawyer, the judges' law clerk and finally, the judges themselves. Each party will evaluate the contents of the brief from a different perspective. Experienced criminal appellate attorneys understand that it's better to focus on making a brief clear and easily understood by anyone who may read it, rather than by writing a brief so that only a judge who is well-versed in one area of the law understands the main issues.

A Winning Appellate Brief Uses Clear And Simple Arguments

The very best appellate briefs are those that are written simply and clearly. We find that by having a narrow focus and setting out the most persuasive arguments in as plain of language as possible gives us the best results.

Although in most cases several legal issues exist, our appellate team approaches a case by taking a step back and developing one central idea or theory of the case. By being selective in the issues we choose to address, we are able to bring clarity and simplicity to our arguments. The most effective arguments are those that tie into one big idea or theme that runs through a case.

Effective Criminal Appellate Attorneys Provide A Well Thought Out Introduction

Our effective Michigan appellate attorneys begin writing our appellate briefs with an introduction that sets forth our top arguments right away. Even though Michigan appellate law doesn't require an introduction, Supreme Court justices and Court of Appeals judges favor them. Conveying a main theme at the beginning that tells the court a client's story gives the court a frame of reference for deciding the issues that follow.

Persuasive Appellate Briefs Use The Facts To A Client's Advantage

Skilled Michigan criminal appeals attorneys focus on telling the facts in a way that is "clear, concise and chronological." Judges want to know what really happened in a case-not a biased account of what happened that omits relevant facts. By setting out the facts truthfully, top appellate lawyers gain the trust of the court and increase the chances that a judge will rule in their favor.

Winning Appellate Briefs Are Easy To Read And Understand

Michigan appellate court rules require that each portion of an appellate brief argument begin with the "principle point stated in capital letters or boldface type."

Our experienced Michigan appellate lawyers keep their points simple and straightforward. Far too often lawyers get bogged down in legalese that takes away from the argument they are trying to make.

Effective Appellate Briefs Tell The Court Exactly What They Want

The most compelling appellate briefs end with a "distinct, concluding section the order or judgment requested." An experienced Michigan appellate attorney will use this portion of the brief to explain why you should win your appeal.

By being selective, clear and concise, our team of criminal appellate lawyers has successfully appealed numerous verdicts and sentences from all types of criminal law cases.

The Michigan Criminal Defense Law Firm Of Grabel & Associates Will Fight To Get You The Second Chance You Deserve

Being successful at criminal appeals takes years of hard work. The Michigan appellate court process is governed by different rules and procedures than the trial courts and requires an attorney with a keen understanding of how the Michigan appellate process works. At Grabel & Associates, our attorneys are solely focused on criminal law and appeals. Whatever the issue-whether you've been convicted, received an unfair sentence or failed to receive a fair trial-we understand the most effective arguments and are dedicated to fighting to ensure you receive the second chance you deserve.

For more information or to discuss how the top Michigan appellate attorneys at Grabel & Associates can help you, call us toll-free at 1-800-342-7896, or you can use the contact form on this website to email our law firm.