Appellate Practice in Massachusetts
The art of appeal
A time-honored authority, Appellate Practice in Massachusetts examines the appellate process at every level and court in the Commonwealth, in both civil and criminal matters. It covers the appellate process and offers valuable insight into the art of effective appellate advocacy in civil and criminal cases. This manual includes practical information on how to assess the decision to appeal, how alternative dispute resolution works at the appellate level, standards of review and the mechanics of appeal in the various courts. In-depth guidance is offered on how to draft appellate briefs. The role of the amicus brief, oral advocacy and post-decision practice are featured, as is single justice practice.
Also featured, and previously available only to Massachusetts courts, is an Appendix containing selected Massachusetts cases on the standards of appellate review. This list of selected cases is an invaluable aid for researching key legal issues in cases where appellate review turns on error of law, abuse of discretion and prejudice.
Whether your practice of law takes you to the federal Court of Appeals, the Supreme Judicial Court, the Massachusetts Appeals Court, or the Massachusetts state District Court, you will benefit from the authoritative case commentary, courtroom and litigation strategies, procedural tips and practice notes offered by this manual's author roster of over two dozen seasoned practitioners and judges.
- Essential pointers on writing an effective appellate brief
- Strategies for dispositive relief, including motions to dismiss on the grounds of immunity
- How and when to use amici submissions, including at the trial level
- Post-decision practice, such as issues of security in criminal appeals where the defendant has been denied a stay following a decision to grant further appellate review
- Practice and procedure on the Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
- Mechanics of appeal in the state courts, including specific guidance on the requirements of the appendix
- Practical guidance on time limitations on filing and service of briefs, as well as the Court's procedures for dispensing with oral argument and en banc hearings
- Essential guidance on single justice practice in the Supreme Judicial Court.
Update: May 2016
Thank you for choosing to keep your volumes of Massachusetts Appellate Practice current with this 2016 edition. Inside, you will find dozens of new case decisions and pertinent information on a spectrum of topics of interest to the appellate practitioner, including the following:
- Requests for leave to appeal: See Chapter 21 for discussion of a 2014 case that provides the most up-to-date guidance on the procedural timing requirements for applications for leave to appeal under Mass. R. Crim. P. 15(a)(2) and should be reviewed by counsel prior to filing an application.
- Application for further appellate review: See Chapter 22 for discussion of Commonwealth v. Pike, 467 Mass. 1008, 1008–09 (2014) (reversing decision of Appeals Court where Commonwealth failed to present sufficient evidence to warrant defendant's conviction for failure to register as sex offender).
- Rebuttal: See Chapter 18 for the judicial author's candid advice regarding proper use of rebuttal time.
- The amicus brief: See Chapter 17 for a detailed new discussion of procedures, best practices, and the Supreme Judicial Court's current thinking regarding the filing of amicus briefs in various types of cases.
We at MCLE trust that you will find this new edition useful in your appellate practice, and valuable in keeping your library current.
Maryanne G. Jensen, Esq., MCLE Director of Publications
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