When I began writing this, the prosecution was making its final argument to the jury in the trial of Gregory McMichael, Travis McMichael, and William Bryan for the homicide of Ahmaud Arbery. Soon, the Court would instruct the jury on the law that it should apply to the case.
Kyle Rittenhouse’s trial is seeing a good bit of attention lately, not only for the crimes of which he is accused, but also because of a recent ruling that stops prosecutors from referring to the people he shot as victims.
Reversible error has four, interdependent elements, each of which must be proven to net a favorable judgment on appeal. An appellant’s failure to prove any element forecloses relief.
The job of appellant’s counsel is to represent the appellant’s interests. Which means determining what arguable errors (issues) in a case are most likely to net the appellant a favorable judgment from the appellate court.
An appellate lawyer is a writer, a strategist, a researcher, a consultant. But in the end, an appellate lawyer’s skillset boils down to the art of proving or refuting reversible error.