Appellate Litigator

While representing appellants, Myron Moskovitz has won over 80% of his published appellate cases — a cut above the average 20% reversal rate for civil appeals. Learn more about his career in appeals:

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Appellate Consultant

When other attorneys look for help with an appeal cases, they turn to Myron Moskovitz. He has helped hundreds of lawyers analyze their cases, write briefs, and prepare for oral argument.

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Appellate Teacher

Myron Moskovitz has taught lawyers throughout California how to strategize their writing to persuade judges. His book, Winning An Appeal, is a resource used by lawyers all over the country.

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Why Orally Argue Your Appeal?

Most lawyers waste oral argument – because they haven’t considered when oral argument occurs.  They might present what looks like a brilliant oration that impresses everyone watching – including the judges – but does little to accomplish what their client hired them to do: win the appeal. Why?  Try this. Read a set of briefs [...]

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The Appellant’s Reply Brief

Many judges derisively call Reply Briefs “Repeat Briefs”, because most do no more than repeat arguments made in Appellant’s Opening Brief. Put yourself in the shoes of the Decider. You just read the Opening Brief and then the Respondent’s Brief. Why would you then want to spend more valuable time reading a rehash of arguments [...]

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Writing a Persuasive “Statement of the Case”

The Statement of Facts should include both procedural facts and substantive facts. The procedural facts are usually stated first, sometimes in a separate section headed “Statement of the Case” or “Procedural Facts.” This should include all the facts about the procedural history of the case that will be helpful to the appellate court in deciding [...]

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Writing An “Introduction” to An Appellate Brief

For the Appellant For the Appellant, writing a good Introduction takes careful thought. Appellate court rules do not require an Introduction. So Sculpt the Elephant: don’t include one automatically. First consider why you are doing it. I see many Introductions that try to do too much. They argue the case. But it might be too [...]

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Moot Courts for Appellate Arguments

For several years, I directed the Moot Court for Lawyers program at Golden Gate. Lawyers with cases pending in the California Supreme Court and other appellate courts would present their arguments to a panel of appellate litigators and retired judges. One of the arguments is described in a recent Recorder article. See below. Since I [...]

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TED CRUZ ON FRAMING THE ISSUE

Texas Senator Ted Cruz – a right-wing nut – is not my favorite politician. But many lawyers would be surprised to learn that he was a very successful U.S. Supreme Court litigator. In a recent New Yorker profile, Cruz said: In litigation, I tried to ask, What’s this case about? When the judge goes home [...]

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LEGAL SCHOLARSHIP DOES NOT MIX WELL WITH LITIGATION.

A law professor recently wrote a scholarly book about the Supreme Court Justices, and he litigates cases before the same Justices. Can he do both at the same time honestly and well? I have my doubts. Because he does not want to offend the Justices who will decide his cases, he is likely to pull [...]

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Is Discussion of Justices’ Religion “Off Limits”?

A few days ago I did a radio show in San Francisco with Harvard Law Prof Larry Tribe, who was promoting his new book (which is excellent) on the Roberts Supreme Court. At one point, we were discussing Town of Greece v. Galloway, a recent case where the Court held (5-4) that a town did [...]

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Do Not Rely On Opponent’s Request for Oral Argument

This morning I argued an appeal in the First District (I won a reversal). I was last on the calendar, and while waiting saw an incident that should serve as a warning to all appellate counsel. The Presiding Judge called a case, and a young lawyer bounced up to the podium with a large stack [...]

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Brief-Writing: My Guiding Principles

Follow three guiding principles when writing a brief. Principle #1: Clarity Is Primary. Unless your writing is clear, your brief is worthless. Appellate Justices and law clerks are busy. They do not want to – and won’t – take the time to decipher and untangle ambiguous phrases and complex sentences. In fact, they’ve been known [...]

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