New Service Helps Appellate Lawyers Write Better Briefs

Senior Lawyers, Scholars, Retired Judges and Legal-Writing Experts Provide Individualized Feedback on Appellate Briefs

Steven Merican

For years, top-drawer trial lawyers have hired professionals to facilitate and conduct mock trials and jury focus groups. Even though nearly all appeals are won or lost on the briefs, until now there was no analogous service for appellate lawyers. Appellatology, an internet-based conferencing service designed to help lawyers write better appellate briefs, recently launched to fill this void.

Before an appeal brief is filed, an appellate lawyer submits a draft to Appellatology, for review by one or more of the senior lawyers, scholars, retired judges, and legal-writing experts affiliated with the company as panel members. The panel members then conference with the brief writer to provide advice about how the brief can be improved.

Appellatology clients learn from appellate experts which arguments work and which don’t, and why; whether the statement of facts tells a story that will make judges want to rule in the client’s favor, and why; and how to improve the brief’s readability and persuasiveness.

The entire Appellatology conference takes place over the internet via videoconference ― there are no travel or facility costs. Brief writers can interact with the conference panel and get straight answers to strategy and writing issues.

“Appellatology offers lawyers tough-minded, intellectually honest evaluations of their appellate briefs, and advice on how to make them better,” said Steve Merican, founder of Appellatology and a practicing litigator for 29 years. “This is a much better option than handing the brief to your partner or friend, who isn’t motivated to do the kind of rigorous analysis our experts provide. Appellatology will give your brief the kind of attention you and your client deserve.”

Appellatology customizes its service for the needs and the budget of each client. Services range from a one-on-one conference with a single Appellatology panel member to a conference with three or more panel members. Appellate lawyers can even choose to receive written feedback only, skipping the videoconference altogether.

More information is at You also can contact the founder, Steve Merican, at 630-579-6460 or