Illinois Appeals Attorney Robert G. Black

In civil cases, the oral argument is often eliminated from the appeals process. Written briefs, which precede oral arguments, are often considered sufficient for appellate justices to come to a decision. In some cases, however, the appellate panel will allow the presentation of oral arguments. If so, they are a critically important part of the appeals process and your choice of an appellate attorney will be crucial.

The Function of Oral Arguments in Appeals

When an appeal is filed, it usually includes three briefs--the opening brief from the appellant, the responsive brief from the appellee and the reply brief from the appellant. These briefs outline the facts of the trial and potential reversible errors in the law or in the facts. Both sides have the opportunity to present their arguments in written briefs.

If oral arguments are allowed before the appellate panel, each party takes turns presenting the major points from their briefs. There are strict time limits on oral arguments. Arguments for appeal are based only on the record from the trial and whether or not reversible error was committed during the trial. Oral arguments cannot include new evidence or new legal strategies.

Appellate judges frequently interrupt attorney presentations to ask questions during oral arguments. In most cases, oral arguments function as a back-and-forth dialog between the justices and the attorneys. Appellate attorneys must be prepared for all possible questions from the appellate panel and should be extremely familiar with their briefs and the authorities they relied on.

If you are in need of appellate services, contact the Law Offices of Robert G. Black, P.C.. Attorney Black is a skilled appellate litigator and appeals consultant operating throughout Illinois. He has argued numerous cases before both state and federal appeals courts. To discuss the specifics of your case, contact us at our Naperville office.