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From the Collection: Appellate Practice Resources

Posted: Feb 26, 2014

With the recent Appellate Year-In-Review CLE lead by Justices Botsford and Sullivan, we thought it would be a great time to shine a spotlight on the appellate practice resources in our collection. Below you will find a variety of guides and handbooks geared towards practitioners in both state and federal court. Many of these titles provide good general information about the courts and appellate procedure. Others focus on oral advocacy and writing briefs, providing both tips and samples. Additionally, if you are interested in looking at a brief from a specific case, just contact the Reference Department at (617) 226-1520. The Social Law Library maintains a collection of briefs (including amicus briefs) from the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court and Appeals courts on microfiche, and we can set you up on a fiche reader at the library or scan and email the briefs upon request.  


Appellate Practice Compendium edited by Dana Livingston
4th Floor Reading Room  KF9050 .A9458 2012
This two volume guide to State and Federal appellate courts is broken down into chapters by federal circuit or state. Each chapter provides information on tips for out-of-state practitioners; admission pro hac vice and of counsel requirements; the structure of the appellate court; how to commence an appeal; record composition; appellate mediation or conference programs; filing and service requirements; motions; briefing schedule, brief format, and contents; appendices; oral argument; motions for rehearing; costs and attorney’s fees; further appellate review; mandates; and interlocutory and discretionary review.


Appellate Practice in Federal and State Courts by David M. Axelrad
4th floor Reading Room  KF9050 .A987 2011 
This book walks you from start to finish- from evaluating whether to take on a case to review by courts of last resort. It also includes sections on technology, such as how to format briefs and complete electronic filing with a court, as well as suggestions for building and running an appellate practice. This title is also available online to members of the Social Law library; to view it login here using your username and password to access the Law Journal Press catalog.

The How-to-Win Appeal Manual: Winning Appellate-Advocacy in a Nutshell by Ralph Adam Fine
4th floor Reading Room  KF9050 .F56 2012
Offers tips on concise and persuasive advocacy from Judge Fine, who sits on the Wisconsin Court of Appeals. This book also provides analysis of actual oral argument transcripts as well as criminal and civil briefs.

A Practitioner’s Guide to Appellate Advocacy edited by Anne Marie Lofaso
4th floor Reading Room  KF9050 .P73 2010
A good overview of appellate practice in the Federal Courts, with chapters covering ethical and professional concerns, appeals from agency decisions, differences between the circuits, settlement of cases on appeal, as well as oral argument and briefs.


Appellate Practice in Massachusetts (MCLE) by Neal Quenzer, Hon. Francis X. Spina, et. al. 
5th floor MCLE  KFM2955 .A66 2010
The go-to guide on appellate practice, this MCLE covers practice in the SJC, Appeals, Appellate Division of the District Court, and U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, as well as appearances before the Single Justice sessions of the Appeals Court and SJC.  Includes information on preserving appellate rights in superior and district courts, and the standard of review used on appeal.

Appellate Procedure by Joseph. R. Nolan and Kerry A. Durning
4th Floor Reading Room  KFM2480 .M3 [v.41] 2009
Volume 41 in West’s Massachusetts Practice Series, this is an excellent resource for annotations on the Rules of Appellate Procedure and sample forms, while also providing general information about the appellate process in Massachusetts.

An Insider’s Guide to Winning on Appeal: The Art of Appellate Advocacy 
5th floor States  KFM2984.A75 I57 2011 
Program materials from the March 2011 CLE at the Social Law Library. Includes case law, discussion, and tips, as well as sections from the Appellate Practice MCLE.

The Appeals Court at 40 edited by R. Marc Kantrowitz
1st floor Non-core  KFM2914 .A66 2013
Want to know more about the history of the appeals court? This title was written by court employees past and present, providing first-hand accounts of the creation of the court, its early days, and its growth since 1972.