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Creative and Effective Appellate Brief Writing

Creative and Effective Appellate Brief Writing

Creative and Effective Appellate Brief Writing_675

***Registration for live attendance has been closed. You can still attend the virtual program.***

The New York State Bar Association is proud to present this program in cooperation with the Appellate Defender Council and the Statewide Appellate Support Center of the New York State Office of Indigent Legal Services. This two-day training for defense counsel providing mandated representation on criminal and Family Court appeals will offer four CLE credits through virtual plenary sessions as well as an additional six CLE credits for a limited number of in-person practitioners who will work in small groups practicing appellate brief writing skills using their own cases. Participants can register for only the virtual sessions or for both the virtual sessions and in-person small group sessions in Albany. 


Providing meaningful appellate and post-conviction representation involves more than reading the appellate record, speaking with your client, and perfecting a brief. This two-day brief writing training will provide deep insight into how to persuasively convey your clients’ stories of injustice. The training will feature a session on combatting and litigating racial inequities in your cases, which will be presented by a nationally recognized criminal justice reform expert who has successfully litigated in the United States Supreme Court a challenge to the introduction of explicitly racially biased evidence. You will also learn how to develop a theory of your case through brainstorming and working collaboratively and how to use that theory to craft powerful introductions, statements of facts, and arguments, thanks to highly regarded institutional office practitioners. Finally, you will hear from an award-winning author and journalist about his own powerful experience in telling the story of a wrongful conviction. Additionally, the small group sessions will allow criminal and Family Court defense practitioners providing mandated representation to work collaboratively and in person to apply the skills learned in the plenary sessions to their own cases. These small group sessions will be guided by appellate and post-conviction practitioners from across New York State.

Pricing structure:

  • In-Person/10 CLE credits: $100 for non-members; $50 for members
  • Virtual/4 CLE credits: $50 for non-members; $25 for members


August 3, 2023:
9:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.: Coffee service and registration for in-person attendees
9:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.: Virtual Session for all attendees

12:00 p.m.: Lunch for in-person attendees
1:15 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.: Small groups (in-person only)

August 4, 2023:
9:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.: Coffee service and registration for in-person attendees
9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.: Virtual Session for all attendees

11:30 a.m.: Lunch for in-person attendees
1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.: Small groups (in-person only)


Hon. Elizabeth A. Garry, Presiding Justice, State of New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Third Judicial Department (Introductory Remarks) 

Christina Swarns, Executive Director of the Innocence Project (Litigating Racial Injustice)

Timothy Murphy, Assistant Federal Public Defender for the Western District of New York (Brief Writing—the Components and Editing)

Richard Firstman, Author of A Criminal Injustice and The Death of Innocents (Storytelling and Persuasive Writing)

Felice Milani, Bureau Chief, Appeals Bureau, Legal Aid Society of Suffolk County (Storytelling and Persuasive Writing)

James Hobbs, Assistant Public Defender, Monroe County Public Defender’s Office (Brainstorming and Developing a Theory of Appeal)

If you are having any trouble registering for this event, or can't access your NYSBA account, please contact our Member Resource Center team at 800-582-2452.

For in-person registrations, the cancelation policy is as follows:

Cancellations received more than 10 days from the scheduled event date-100% refund

Cancellations received between 5-10 days from the scheduled event date-50% refund

Cancellations received less than 5 days before the scheduled event date-No refund

Start Date:
  • August 3, 2023
End Date:
  • August 4, 2023
Start Time:
  • 9:00 AM
End Time:
  • 5:00 PM
Areas Of Professional Practice Credit(s):
  • 10.0
Total Credit(s):
  • 10.0
  • Albany
  • Virtual Participation
  • New York State Bar Association
    1 Elk Street
    Albany, NY 12207
  • Hybrid
Product Code:
  • 0NB71
NYSBA Member Price: $25.00 Join (or renew) for special member pricing
Non-Member Price: $50.00
Sponsoring Committee Group
  • Committee on Mandated Representation
  • Committee on Continuing Legal Education