Training Guide

Appellate Briefs


Training Guide

Appellate Briefs

Motion Practice
Remote or in person

What’s Covered

  • Appellate standards of review
  • Appellate procedure
  • Parts of an appellate brief
  • Choosing your arguments
  • Drafting your facts
  • Drafting your argument

Before the Session

Prepare the Attendees

Send the attendees an invitation for the session. Include this link, which has the videos and exercise they’ll need to prepare.

Prepare Yourself

Watch the videos and read the exercise so you’re familiar with the Hotshot material.

  • still frame from Preparation and Choosing Your Arguments


    Appellate Briefs

    How to approach drafting an appellate brief, including choosing and preparing your arguments, tips for drafting your facts and argument sections, procedure, and how appellate briefs differ from lower court briefs.

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    Appellate Briefs


During the Session

Part 1: Knowledge Check
Ask attendees these questions to ensure they understand the topic:
  • What are the different standards of review applied by appellate courts and when is each one applied?
  • What are some parts of an appellate brief that are not included in a lower court brief?
  • What are some strategies you can use to frame your Issues Presented favorably?
  • What might you consider when deciding which arguments are the best to include?
  • What are some strategies for presenting the facts in your appellate brief effectively? 
  • What are some things you can do to make it easy for the appellate judge to follow your arguments?
Part 2: Group Exercise
Lead a group discussion based on the exercise. To encourage collaboration, divide the attendees into groups to discuss the exercise, then have a representative from each group summarize their views to the larger group. Call on people to share their thoughts and ask others to respond.
Tip for remote sessions: use your web conferencing system’s breakout room feature to divide people into groups.
Part 3: War Stories and Firm Specifics
Share your own experiences and guidance, including:
  • Anecdotes and war stories (e.g., about a near-disaster or a tough negotiation)
  • General practice tips (dos and don’ts)
  • Firm-specific guidance and practices

After the Session

To continue their learning, attendees can check out related courses in Hotshot’s Motion Practice topic.

About Hotshot

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