CNY Accident Lawyer Explains: If You Can “Write” You Are More Often “Right” In Appellate Court

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for courtroom.jpgA lawyer friend of one of my partners called him yesterday to tell him that, while in a telephone conversation with one of the judges who sits in the Appellate Court in Rochester (Fourth Department), the judge asked him if he knew Michael Bersani (me). He responded, “sure, I know Mike, why”? The judge replied, “because he writes the most excellent appellate briefs”!

Very flattering, especially since I don’t even know that judge. I used to work up there clerking, many years ago, but all the judges I worked for are retired.

More important than the flattery, though, is what this could mean to my clients. I have two important appeals pending up in that Court. I argue one of them next week. Did the judge’s comment mean that this particular judge agrees with my arguments? Or does he just think I write wonderfully on a losing argument? I am hoping the judges don’t just think I can “write” well, but also that I am just plain “right” on the legal issues.

You have a much better chance of winning an appeal if you are a powerful writer. Being “right” and knowing how to “write” overlap. Appellate advocacy is not about splashing an argument onto a brief and hoping the judges agree. It’s about framing the argument right, organizing it right, and saying it right, so that the only logical conclusion a reasonable reader can draw is that you ARE right.

I sure hope I’m right!

Stay tuned . . .

Mike Bersani
Email me at: bersani@michaels-smolak.com I’d love to hear from you!

Michael G. Bersani, Esq.
michaels-smolak.com Central NY Personal Injury Lawyers Michaels & Smolak, P.C.

1-315-253-3293

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