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Principles of Appellate Advocacy, Second Edition

  • Daniel P. Selmi
  • Rebecca Delfino
Series / Aspen Coursebook Series
Teaching Materials
Table of contents

Buy a new version of this textbook and receive access to the Connected eBook on Casebook Connect, including lifetime access to the online ebook with highlight, annotation, and search capabilities. Access also includes an outline tool and other helpful resources. Connected eBooks provide what you need most to be successful in your law school classes.

Appellate Advocacy books can overwhelm students with a disparate mixture of appellate rules, arcane procedural requirements, multiple writing instructions, practice tips, etc. This book avoids that problem by focusing on the most important aspect of appellate advocacy: how to write a persuasive appellate brief. It sets forth very specific, well-defined rules--adapted from the recommendations of experienced appellate practitioners and judges--for students to learn and follow.

Principles of Appellate Advocacy stresses three overreaching principles that students need to understand: (1) The perspective principle: putting the brief writer in the shoes of the judge; (2) The structural principle: building the brief around issues; and (3) The organizational principle: separating the thought process from the writing process.

New to the Second Edition:

  • Expanded coverage of standards of review, with explanations of the most commonly employed standards, examples from decisions using the standards and from briefs that apply them, plus exercises to assist students in recognizing the applicable standards of review.
  • Increased emphasis on the concept of appealable error and preservation of issues.
  • Additional exercises that require students to implement the rules for writing discussed in the text and to practice revision and editing techniques.
  • An updated sample appellate brief that implements the book’s rules for writing a brief.
  • A video illustrating the “dos and don’ts” of oral argument.

Professors and student will benefit from these features:

  • The direct, practical approach to teaching students how to write an appellate brief—the most important aspect of appellate advocacy. The concepts as presented are straightforward and accessible to facilitate understanding.
  • Students will learn and then implement specific rules that appellate experts nationwide agree are essential to good appellate writing.
  • The first edition has been proven effective by students in a very successful law school appellate program. This approach and these materials work.
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Second Edition
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Appellate Advocacy
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