The veteran Appellate practice group at Martin Clearwater & Bell LLP has successfully argued numerous cases on appeal, several of which have helped shape laws in New York State, earning the respect of adversaries, clients and judges alike.

When a defendant receives an unfavorable outcome at a trial or hearing, he or she normally has the option to appeal the case to a higher (appellate) court. An appeal, however, is not a new trial; there are no witnesses or juries, and no new evidence is presented. Instead, appellate courts focus solely on questions of whether the law was properly applied in the lower court’s decision, and if procedural or other errors were made. Appellate practice requires distinctive skills and tactics unique from trial practice. Because these skills are also valuable at the pre-trial and trial level, appellate attorneys are often retained to work with trial lawyers at varying stages of case litigation.



Examples of clients we have successfully defended on appeal include hospitals, clinics, physician group practices, corporations, and executives.


First and foremost, we argue cases on appeal, handling all matters for our clients from inception to disposition. Equally important, we provide guidance to our trial attorneys during the early stages of the litigation phase, before a case is appealed. This builds a strong court record and helps to identify the best issues to pursue and the strongest arguments to make should a case ultimately end up on appeal. Bottom line: putting together the strongest possible legal team at the outset is ultimately the best way to obtain a favorable result.

Our Appellate team handles:


  • Protect the record and frame key issues of law (in anticipation of misapplication of same by the court, resulting in a potential appeal
  • Assure that the most persuasive arguments are presented at each stage of the proceedings
  • Provide “hands-on” assistance to trial counsel with motions, requests to charge and other issues that arise
  • Offer objective advice and analysis, including assessment of an appeal’s likelihood of success

During appeal:

  • Conduct extensive research and analysis of the court record to identify all potential errors/irregularities
  • Research and analyze relevant case law
  • Prepare concise, persuasive briefs
  • Proffer effective oral argument before the appellate panel
  • Provide detailed evaluations of claimed damages in high-exposure cases, helping to position these cases for favorable settlement



Because the rules and procedures in appellate court are so different from trial court, the pitfalls for an inexperienced practitioner are numerous. The members of our Appellate practice group have many years of experience appearing before appellate judges, and possess all of the analytical, written and oral skills necessary to prevail in this arena.

Valid reasons for a case to be appealed include:

  • Errors made in the application of the law
  • Procedural errors
  • Juror misconduct
  • Incorrect jury instruction
  • Improperly admitted evidence
  • Lack of evidence to support a verdict

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