Appellate Practice

The Appellate process is unspeakably difficult to navigate by a pro se litigant. In other words, if you don't have counsel, no matter how well you argue, no matter how right you are, you can and probably will still lose your appeal. It is not uncommon that meritorious cases filed by appellants without counsel are dismissed for failure to comply with scheduling orders and other procedural requirements. This frustrates and disappoints litigants. Often a person who has been aggrieved (has received a ruling against his interests) will become alienated by the system to the point of letting important deadlines and requirements fall by the wayside. More importantly, even if every deadline is met and all procedural requirements are rigorously followed, writing an appellate argument is an art. For this reason, even most experienced trial practitioners do not undertake to perfect and argue their own appeals. 

So often a successful appeal hinges not only on whether the aggrieved party's position had merit (was legally correct), but whether the issues had been properly preserved at trial. If an issue was not brought before the trial court's attention and argued comprehensively, that issue may be foreclosed for appellate review. Likewise some issues are have not developed to the point where an appeals bench may hear them. They are not ripe. Also, sometimes appeals are disallowed because the person bringing the appeal was not the person legally injured by the decision. That person has no standing. Fleshing out those issues first and foremost is key to presenting a successful appeal, and not wasting your time and money on appellate practice that will lead nowhere. It can also identify where a successful argument may be made for an exception to the rules barring certain claims on the basis of lack of "appeal-ability."

After thoroughly interviewing you, I will analyze whether your case may be heard.  I will then comb through the transcripts, and the findings of fact, identify all relevant legal issues and thoroughly research them, using all the tools at my disposal. Those include Westlaw, my own library and both the Brooklyn Law School and Brooklyn Bar Association Library. I will develop an efficient and comprehensive strategy on appeal, which conforms to the standards and practices expected at the Appellate Divisions and the Court of Appeals. I am also expert in providing principled, balanced and appropriately creative or novel arguments. 

A person seeking appellate relief may do no better than to put his or her case in the hands of an experienced appellate practitioner, like myself. I have worked for almost a decade as a Family and Appellate Court Attorney --and I've also been a City Administrative Law Judge for eight years. Working in those positions has given me a chance to learn the trial and appellate process from the inside out. Chosen in law school as a Richardson Scholar, the research assistant to a publishing full professor, chosen as a Sparer Fellow, and having won an American Jurisprudence Award for a mock US Supreme Court Brief and oral argument, my command of the rules of evidence, legal research and writing, and my demonstrated commitment to serving the public interest were firmly established even before I entered my profession. At the Family Court, I conferenced cases, reviewed adoptions, reviewed the work of support magistrates, and wrote decisions to one of the most prolific Family Court judges sitting at the time. At the Appellate Division I wrote over 500 confidential reports, including a proposed decision with each one, to a very active and informed bench. As a City ALJ I've written thousands of decisions that affect the quality of our every day life, from whether a taxi cab driver should get his license back after losing it due to misconduct, to whether traffic, transit or environmental violations should be sustained. At the Taxi and Limousine Commission, I wrote over 500 appellate decisions, reviewed other ALJ's appeals, created a peer review system, developed a style manual and compiled a digest of leading appeals. 

To aid me in my practice, I stay current with continuing legal education (CLE) provided by the Office or Court Administration, through the Attorneys for Children and Assigned Counsel Plan panels, of which I am a member. I also attend CLE programs through the Brooklyn Bar Association, Timothy Tippins, Esq., director of MatLaw Professionals, for excellence in Matrimonial litigation, and the National Institute of Trial Advocates (NITA). 

Finally, I also associate myself and work with a large network of other appellate practitioners who either were appellate court attorneys or have practiced so extensively in their field that they receive routine assignments from the First and Second Departments to write appeals for children and parents in addition to their private state and federal appellate practices.

 

ATTORNEY ADVERTISING : Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. 

Geanine Towers, P.C. is located in New York City. We represent clients on appeal and in family and matrimonial litigation, and the negotiation of settlement agreements, throughout the New York area, including Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, Long Island, Rockland, Orange, and Westchester (Appellate Practice only in the Bronx, Long Island and the northern counties).

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