I have briefed and argued appeals in both state and federal courts. After graduating from Harvard Law school, I clerked for a federal appellate judge—Judge James B. Loken—of the United States Federal Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. I then began my career as an appellate and constitutional law attorney in Washington, DC.
Besides appeals for parties, I often file amicus—or friend of the court—briefs in state and federal cases. For example, Filed an amicus brief in North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners v. Federal Trade Commission, which involved state-action immunity issues arising from an antitrust challenge to a state licensing board. I also prepared and filed an amicus brief on behalf of a client in the United States Supreme Court in FTC v. Phoebe Putney Health System, Inc., arguing that a market-participant exception should apply to state-action immunity from the antitrust laws. I also file many amicus briefs in State Supreme Courts involving real estate and property issues.
It is important to treat an appellate brief differently than a trial brief. An appellate court has different goals and considerations than a trial court, and well understands its role in creating rules through precedent for lower courts. The standard-of-review is crucial, and the appellate attorney must understand how the position he or she takes will, if adopted, affect future cases because the appellate court itself is very concerned about that question.