On Reluctance to Engage Appellate Counsel

Why Some Lawyers and Their Clients are Reluctant to Engage Appellate Counsel, Part 5: The Client’s Perspective

For those of you wondering, yes, this is a resumption of a series of posts I wrote years ago on reluctance to engage appellate counsel. (You can read the whole series here.) I was reviewing that series this morning to develop some marketing ideas, and saw some ideas I want to develop further.

My earlier posts cited many reasons that attorneys might not involve appellate counsel, but never really expanded on some of the reasons that clients might not do so. I listed such reasons early in the series, which I repeat here:

  1. “I can’t afford an appeal.”
  2. “An appellate lawyer will just try to talk me out of making the argument I want to make.”
  3. “Why should I pay a second lawyer?”
  4. “The case is hopeless.  Why even try?”
  5. “My lawyer won at trial.  Who better to fight my opponent’s appeal?”
  6. “Even if I win the right to a retrial, that trial judge will just find some other way to screw me.”

Subsequent posts will explore these reasons, and possibly others, in detail.

I suspect that the principal reason any client raises one of these objections is because her trial attorney never explained how the appeal differs from the trial court proceedings. It is important for attorneys to educate their clients about those differences in any consideration of an appeal, even if the trial attorney plans to handle the appeal himself. I believe that a properly informed client would demand the engagement of appellate counsel, even if the client otherwise has full confidence in her trial lawyer, for different cases as injury cases or car accidents, and the use of  car accident lawyers in DC are the best legal defense in these cases. I will try to make my case on this in subsequent posts.

Again, you can read the earlier posts in the series here, or click on a link below to go to a specific earlier installment:

Series Announcement: “Why Are Some Lawyers and Their Clients Reluctant to Engage Appellate Counsel?”

Part 1: Categories

Part 2: “It’s just litigation”

Part 3: “No one knows the case better than I do.”

Part 4: “This Case Needs a Specialist.”

Suggestions for future installments are welcome. You can make suggestions by leaving a comment on this post.