Appellate Law

Are appeals any different than trials? Yes! There is a distinction between trial work and appellate advocacy that may be hard to see when you are close to a case.  Our appellate counsel view the case the same way an appellate court does — from a written record.  As appellate advocates, we can make objective decisions regarding the facts of the case, which issues are best preserved for appeal, and which issues present the best avenues for appeal. Our appellate lawyers understand how appellate judges think, they know the standards of review, and they can focus on making the appeal as persuasive as possible. Lommen Abdo knows appeals. 

Helping Clients Navigate the Appellate Process

Our appellate attorneys focus on a number of areas of experience. They are adept at preparing appeal initiating documents, drafting appellate briefs, and presenting oral arguments. Our lawyers can also file petitions for extraordinary writs and handle cases in which a question of law has been certified to the state supreme court.  We also present oral arguments and handle mandamus or interlocutory appeals. In addition, we are happy to monitor trials to preserve issues on appeal and prepare briefs for motions such as for temporary injunctions, to exclude expert testimony, for summary judgment, seeking sanctions, and post-trial motions. 

We traditionally charge for most appellate work on an hourly basis. However, alternative billing methods can provide greater predictability as to the total fee you will have to pay to help you budget. We are happy to work with you to find a mutually beneficial billing method when possible. There are a number of options we can consider, including a modified hourly rate with a success fee or a fixed fee. 

Kay Nord Hunt, chair of Lommen Abdo’s appellate group, has herself handled more than 600 appeals in state and federal courts.  Because Lommen Abdo is a broad-based litigation and business firm, the appellate group, which includes Ms. Hunt and Michelle Kuhl, has handled appeals in virtually every area of the law before the Minnesota and Wisconsin state and federal appellate courts. It also provides appellate services in such specialty courts at the U.S. Tax Court, the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel and the Workers’ Compensation Court of Appeals. The appellate group handles appeals for our litigation clients as well as appeals on cases initiated by other firms.  We represent clients in disputes involving family law, insurance, employment, contracts, shareholder disputes, professional liability, tax, liens and many other matters. 

State and Federal Courts 

We have experience handling appellate cases in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and several other states, as well as in federal court. We invite you to reach out to learn more about how we can help. 

Notice of Appeal or Petition for Review (certiorari) 

This is a formal request, made on your behalf, for a higher court to review and make changes to the decision of a lower court. Our attorneys have worked on many petitions for review, and would be happy to evaluate your case and, if an appeal is appropriate, submit a formal petition to the applicable court. 

Legal Briefs 

Legal briefs are the written statements of arguments that are filed by attorneys to argue your case in the appellate courts. The brief will include argument about how the lower court acted incorrectly and why the ruling should be reversed. Briefs are a very important part of the appellate process. Knowing the Rules of Civil Appellate Procedure, how and when to file a brief, and how to argue on your behalf, are all part of the job of an appellate attorney.  

Oral Arguments 

Most appellate cases have oral argument. This is a chance for the lawyers to further describe to the appellate court why an appeal is needed, highlight the most important arguments, and answer questions. With years of experience in oral argument, you can rest assured your Lommen Abdo attorney will provide excellent oral argument on your behalf. 


There are generally three possible outcomes of an appeal. The appellate court can choose to uphold the decision of the lower court, reverse the decision, or the court can remand the case to the trial court. If the case is remanded to the trial court, it must then be re-tried or re-heard by the lower court judge. Appellate courts make decisions based on the evidence submitted to the trial court,  and the briefs and oral arguments submitted on appeal. The decision is issued in writing and will include the reasons for the decision. 

Commonly Asked Questions


What is an appeal?

In an appeal, a higher court reviews the decision of a lower court. You can appeal cases at both the state and federal level.  

What does an appellate lawyer do?

Our appellate attorneys will carefully review your case, including trial transcripts, evidentiary materials, and motions. We will help determine if there are grounds for your appeal and, if so, we will help build the case. 

Why should I hire a Lommen Abdo appellate attorney?

We have the vast experience and knowledge needed to help win your appeal. Our attorneys are tenacious and down-to-earth. They want what is best for their client, you, and they will work tirelessly for you. 

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