This course will examine the practices and powers of American appellate courts, with a particular focus on the federal courts of appeals. Topics of the course include the purpose and role of oral argument, written briefs, and opinions. More broadly, we will consider the objectives of appellate courts, including error correction, law development, and legitimacy. We will have at least one federal appellate judge come to class as a guest speaker. Readings for the course will be posted on Blackboard each week. Assignments for the class include two short reading responses and a final paper.