Appellate Practice

This course introduces students to the practice of appellate advocacy and the appellate process. Students learn about the rules of appellate procedure and strategies for effective appellate advocacy while refining their legal writing and oral advocacy skills. The central project entails researching and writing an appellate brief (for appellants, an opening and a reply brief) and presenting an oral argument. The entire class will be assigned the same case. Half the class will be assigned to represent the appellant and the other half will be assigned to represent the appellee. Each student will be paired against a student from the opposing side for purposes of briefing and oral argument, so that each student can file a responsive brief and deliver a responsive oral argument. The briefs are reviewed and scored by federal appellate judges from the U.S. Court of Appeals, who then preside over and score the oral arguments (each student's brief and argument will be presented to one judge; at the conclusion of each oral argument, each student who participated in that argument will meet one-on-one with the reviewing judge).

Appellate Practice is strongly recommended for those students who plan to participate in the Dean's Cup moot court competition. The problem assigned in the course will be the same one used in the competition. Although Appellate Practice is an excellent opportunity to prepare oneself for the Dean's Cup, it is not a prerequisite for participating in the competition. Students who cannot take the course are eligible for the Dean's Cup and are encouraged to participate.

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Past Sections