Appellate practice is different. While trials are primarily about marshalling evidence and proving facts to a single judge or to a jury, appellate work involves the testing of legal principles to the facts established at trial before a panel of seasoned judges (in Connecticut, usually three judges of the Appellate Court or all seven of the justices sitting on the Supreme Court). It is also the only practice of law that defines itself not by a subject matter, but by the courts in which it is practiced and the distinctive procedures and substantive arguments that lead to success in those courts. For this reason, appellate advocates are often required to master complex concepts in contract law one month and novel questions of criminal or constitutional law the next. Similarly, appellate work requires advocates to digest voluminous trial records quickly and to develop creative, compelling arguments from the confined universe of issues raised at trial, all with the goal of advancing client interests.
Perhaps most importantly, appeals are about communication. The smartest person in the world is of little use as an advocate without the ability to clearly and persuasively communicate his or her ideas in a way that makes sense to those listening. Identifying compelling appellate issues, framing those issues in a way that benefits the client and respects the authority of the court and its procedure, and engaging in a written and oral dialogue with the judges or justices that is clear, thorough and compelling - those are the hallmarks of appellate practice.
It is on these principles that Sexton & Company hopes to distinguish itself. Relying on the latest technology, our firm digitizes all records to streamline document review and allow for the efficient analysis of the trial below and development of issues on appeal. Consistently striving to be better legal scholars and creative thinkers, we work diligently to distill complex legal concepts into clear, concise and compelling arguments. Our team’s extensive appellate experience, which includes regular practice before Connecticut’s appellate courts and teaching classes and seminars in appellate advocacy, provides us with important insights into developing trends across all legal subject areas. When these efforts are combined with an approach to legal practice that always places the client’s interests first, we believe that the result is first class legal representation.