The Trial Team’s New Secret Weapon? An Appellate Pro

Lawyer working on paperwork

Trial lawyer Sherry Rozell was featured in a Law360 article that highlighted the growing trend among companies of staffing high-stakes cases – cases where an appeal is inevitable – with appellate lawyers very early on in a case, rather than waiting until a key ruling is handed down or an appeal is filed.  The article noted that more and more appellate professionals such as Rozell, who frequently serves as embedded appellate counsel for one of the nation’s largest automakers, are being engaged to do work that has traditionally been considered the trial lawyers’ domain, including researching and analyzing particularly tough or novel issues, overseeing litigation strategies, writing dispositive motions, and presenting evidence and arguments at trial.

According to Michael Rynowecer of The BTI Consulting Group Inc., this approach of engaging expert appellate counsel during the trial phase makes great financial sense for companies who face significant exposure and are looking to resolve litigation as quickly as possible.  “The cost of having [appellate attorneys] involved is relatively small compared to the exposure,” he said.  “It’s seen as a risk management tool.”

“It’s about identifying the appellate issues at every stage in the case so the client is in the best posture at all stages,” said Rozell.