The Civil Litigation Attorneys’ Skill Set Should Include Appeals as Well as Trial Work

Is it important that a civil litigation attorney have experience with appeals?  There are attorneys who concentrate their practices exclusively or primarily in appeals, who do not participate in the sometimes years-long process of pretrial discovery, pleadings and motions, drafting or jury instructions, witness preparation and trial.  They can have an advantage of seeing a case from a fresh perspective on appeal, but also lose the advantage of having personal knowledge of the details of the case and its development through trial.  A civil litigator with experience in appeals will often be in a better position to know how to preserve the record so that important issues are not waived for appeal.  An appellate attorney with civil litigation experience will have a better appreciation of where to look in the record of the case the attorney handled at trial to support an appeal decision.  If a client is considering an appeal and is thinking about hiring a separate appeal firm, hiring an attorney whose experience is in both trial level work and appeals can also give an advantage, as often a trial-level attorney will have more perspective on the critical points in a case where a trial judge may have committed reversible error.  The civil litigation attorneys at Udall Shumway PLC are experienced in civil appeals in state and federal courts.  Joel Sannes began his legal career with a prestigious law clerk assignment with the Arizona Court of Appeals and has been active in both civil litigation and appeals for 20 years.


This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice regarding civil litigation appeals or any other litigation matters, please feel free to contact Joel E. Sannes at  480.461.5307, log on to,  or contact an attorney in your area.Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.