Adams and Reese Partner and Appellate Team Leader Martin Stern authored “Appellate Counsel at Trial,” published in the Bar Association of the Federal Fifth Circuit (BAFFC) February 2023 electronic newsletter. The BAFFC works to improve and facilitate the administration of justice in the federal courts within the Fifth Circuit.
Stern explains how in some cases there are benefits to having appellate counsel at trial, and in cases in which issues are complex, he discusses the benefits of the appellate counsel.
“Wouldn’t it be nice if you could exercise 20/20 hindsight at trial in real time? This is the idea behind involving appellate counsel at trial,” writes Stern. “Free from the responsibility of trying the case, appellate counsel can anticipate the consequences of every step taken with an eye on appeal. No, it’s not 20/20, but it’s as close as one can get. But while this is the primary role of appellate counsel at trial, it is not the only role.”
Stern continues that an appellate lawyer can contribute in other ways such as: the verdict form, jury charges, motion practice, elements of the causes of action and affirmative defenses, evidentiary issues, and preserving error.
Stern is Adams and Reese General Counsel, Appellate Team Leader, and a Partner in the firm’s New Orleans office. Practicing since 1985, Stern represents clients in appellate litigation, complex litigation, legal ethics and legal malpractice defense.
Stern has handled hundreds of appeals, including in each of the Louisiana circuit courts of appeal and the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. He has argued 13 times to the Louisiana Supreme Court, and he is one of 15 lawyers certified by the Louisiana Board of Legal Specialization as an Appellate Practice Specialist.