It’s discouraging to lose a trial, but as attorneys we know it’s not the end of the road. However, your client now has a choice to make. An appeals court requires a different skillset. You are still a valuable asset to your client’s legal team as you know the case better than anyone and have established a trusted relationship with the client at this point.
However, it may be time to add another attorney to your team.
A trial attorney vs. an appellate attorney
Your job as a trial attorney is to prove to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt that your client is innocent in terms that a jury can understand. As you know, there are time constraints in addition to jury biases at play. There’s also the emotional impact of every statement and witness examination.
But an appeal is a more detailed and technical endeavor. Appellate attorneys perform heavy research, write long, complex briefs and argue legal points with a panel of judges. Some appellate lawyers simply take care of the whole case, and some are willing to provide counsel if you’d like to work with one and continue on the case.
What’s next for you?
Consider reaching out to a local appellate attorney and seeing what your options are for moving forward with your client on this case. It will make the client feel more comfortable having you there, and you will be able to see the case through with an expert at your side.