Appellate attorney John O’Herron’s “Prepare to be Prepared: Embedded Appellate Counsel at Trial” was included in the August 2023 edition of the Virginia Lawyer, the official publication of the Virginia State Bar (VSB). His article focuses on the pros and cons of hiring embedded appellate counsel and the types of cases for which it can be appropriate.
One aspect of expanded appellate jurisdiction in Virginia is that many more lawyers unfamiliar with appellate practice are facing appeals, and many more cases that might not have been appealed are. The role of an embedded appellate lawyer at trial can vary, but the value can be critical if the case calls for it. From preserving error and handling jury instructions, to bench briefs and strategic decisions impacted by a future appeal, an embedded appellate counsel can offer trial counsel the freedom to do what they do best and handle the rest.
From the most obvious task of error preservation to preparing pocket briefs, appellate counsel can help situate a case for appeal and, more importantly, help win at trial.