Harris Beach is one of the few law firms in New York state with an Appellate Practice Group, recognizing that appellate practice is not simply a continuation of litigation, but rather a distinct practice area involving specialized skills, precise issue identification and different procedural considerations. Winning an appeal requires the lawyer to be familiar with the jurisdictional rules and applicable standards of review, to identify and select legal arguments most likely to be successful, to prepare a concise and compelling appellate brief and to present the case effectively, taking into account the court in which the case is to be decided. Through the handling of multiple appeals on a consistent basis, our practice group has honed the essential skills and insights that have established our reputations as experienced appellate practitioners.
We focus our practice on appeals in New York state and we regularly handle cases involving commercial transactions, contractual disputes and insurance matters in all four Departments of the Appellate Division, the New York Court of Appeals and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. We believe our most valuable asset is our familiarity with the courts and the applicable rules and procedures, which has built our credibility. Our practice group consists of attorneys who devote all, or a substantial part, of their time to appellate matters.
Harris Beach has literally written the book on New York appellate practice in that members of the group authored the Appellate Practice in New York treatise published by LexisNexis and are contributors to the New York Law Journal. They are also co-authors of the New York Chapter of The Appellate Practice Compendium published by the American Bar Association. We have lectured extensively on appellate practice in New York and nationally.
We tailor our appellate services to the needs of the referring lawyer. Our engagement can include providing appellate consultation, serving as co-counsel on an appeal, assisting with preparation for oral argument and mock appellate sessions. We can also handle the entire appeal in close consultation with the lawyer who represented the client in lower courts. Our consultation services are useful in the preparation of a CPLR Article 78 proceeding to ensure a sound basis in the event of an appeal.
Our most important objective is to provide a fresh perspective in analyzing a case by applying our knowledge and experience in appellate work. For appellants, we are often successful in developing a novel approach to the framing of issues to avoid presenting the same arguments that were unsuccessful in lower courts. For respondents, our strategy aims at identifying issues and emphasizing facts designed to preserve the win.
We present cases in the clearest and least technical way possible. For specialized areas of law or industry issues, we consult with the firm’s broad resources in a multitude of practice areas with extensive industry knowledge. We have successfully handled appeals across all disciplines, such as constitutional law, patents, trademark and copyright law and commercial transactions.