8:55 Welcome and Introductions
9:00 The Government's Appellate Lawyers: A View From the State and Federal Offices of the Solicitor General
Solicitor General Ryan Y. Park, North Carolina Department of Justice, Raleigh
Jonathan Y. Ellis, McGuireWoods, Washington, D.C./Raleigh
Matthew W. Sawchak, Robinson Bradshaw & Hinson PA, Raleigh
What's it like to be the government's appellate lawyer? Who is your client, and how do you decide what cases to appeal? How does it feel to have all the appellate work you could ever do (and more)? Our panelists explore these questions and others, drawing on their work in the North Carolina and federal offices of the solicitor general. Along the way, they offer the insights they have gained as government appellate lawyers and compare their government experience with their experience in private appellate practice.
10:10 Appellant and Appellee Briefs: Writing Tips From the Criminal Context for All Appellate Lawyers
Glenn Gerding, North Carolina Office of the Appellate Defender, Durham
Jennifer P. May-Parker, U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina, Raleigh
How should one approach writing an appellant brief versus an appellee brief? To be persuasive, an appellant brief must do more than present a sterile recitation of the law in the client's favor. Persuasive appellant briefs must be credible, reasonable, logical and readable. Gerding, drawing on his experience with appellant briefs on behalf of criminal defendants, provides practical strategies for crafting appellant briefs that convince judges that the trial court erred and the client is entitled to relief.
Appellee briefs, similarly, are called "briefs" for a reason: they should be as brief and focused as possible. May-Parker, drawing on her experience as the government's lawyer in criminal appeals, focuses on how to write concise and effective appellee briefs that make the client's case, defend the lower court's decision, and skillfully rebut the appellant's arguments.
11:20 Increasing Diversity in the Appellate Bar*
Justice (Ret.) Patricia Timmons-Goodson, Supreme Court of North Carolina, Fayetteville
Judge (Ret.) Wanda G. Bryant, North Carolina Court of Appeals, Durham
Ian L. Courts, The Appellate Project, Washington, D.C./Philadelphia District Attorney's Office, Philadelphia, PA
Geeta N. Kapur, Attorney & Counselor at Law and Adjunct Law Professor, Durham
Appellate lawyers — including private- and public-sector advocates, judges, and judicial clerks — make the case law that affects all North Carolinians. As our state continues to increase in diversity, it is imperative that the appellate bar thinks about whether that diversity is reflected among its own members. This moderated panel of appellate judges and attorneys addresses the lack of diversity in the appellate courts, specifically, discussing these topics: What is diversity? Why does diversity matter and should it be a priority of everyone working and practicing in the appellate courts? How can diversity be implemented?
12:20 Lunch Break
1:20 The Latest in North Carolina Appellate Practice: Recent Amendments to the North Carolina Rules of Appellate Procedure and Case Law Update
Christy C. Dunn, Young Moore & Henderson PA, Raleigh
Caitlin A. Mitchell, Nexsen Pruet, Raleigh
The Supreme Court of North Carolina has amended the North Carolina Rules of Appellate Procedure twice within the last 12 months. In this session, the speakers summarize the major amendments and identify how you can tweak your appellate practice to accommodate these procedural updates. They also highlight key cases that inform strategies for appellate practice in North Carolina and the Fourth Circuit, involving issues such as substantial-right jurisprudence, certiorari review, recusal and rule of necessity, en banc review, divestiture of trial-court jurisdiction upon notice of appeal, and facial versus as-applied constitutional challenges.
2:30 Building and Maintaining an Appellate Practice
Tillman J. Breckenridge, Stris & Maher LLP, Washington, D.C.
Matthew N. Leerberg, Fox Rothschild LLP, Raleigh
Jonathan G. McGirt, Attorney at Law, Raleigh
Appellate practice: the one thing they more-or-less teach you how to do in law school. And yet, so few lawyers end up sustaining a substantial appellate practice. Our panelists — three appellate attorneys who took diverse paths to building and maintaining appellate practices — engage in a lively discussion on how they have done so and share tips for others who wish to make appellate work a steady part of their practice.
3:40 Maximizing Moots
Andrew Hessick, University of North Carolina School of Law, Chapel Hill
Sherri Horner-Lawrence, North Carolina Department of Justice, Raleigh
Preparing for an oral argument can be a daunting task. Moot courts with prepared participants can provide advocates with the opportunity to practice their argument, answer questions, and further brainstorm issues and arguments raised by the appeal. Having participated in countless moots, these experienced practitioners share tips and best practices for scheduling, preparing for, and participating in moot arguments.
* Indicates portion providing Ethics/Professional Responsibility credit
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