AIAP Certification as Appellate Specialist

AIAP believes that attorneys with exceptional professional accomplishments in appellate practice should be recognized for their skills and expertise. When AIAP was established,the co-founders carefully studied, reflected and then settled upon exceedingly stringent criteria for recognition of the very best of the lawyers at the pinnacle of the appellate bar. The result: peer reviewed screening of LCA Fellows who met the strict certification criteria and earned the honor of Certification as an Appellate Specialist by The American Institute of Appellate Practice.

AIAP encourages its members to apply for certification as an appellate specialist. More details about the certification program, including the standards and application, are on the main menu.  Please contact Marie Attaway (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or Richard Kraus (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) with any questions.

For AIAP members concerned about whether certification as an appellate specialist may be communicated publicly without running afoul of Rules of Professional Conduct 7.4(c), or its equivalent ("A lawyer may communicate the fact that the lawyer has been certified as a specialist in a field of law by a named organization or authority, but only if such certification is granted by an organization previously approved by the [Alabama] State Bar Board of Legal Certification to grant such certifications."), please note that the Office of the General Counsel for the Alabama State Bar Association acknowledges the legitimacy of AIAP's members' qualifications (LCA Fellowship) and certification criteria such that a formal exemption from the literal requirements of Rule 7.4(c) has been granted (see attached letter from J. Anthony McLain).


Changing Horses Mid-Stream


Tim Fitzgerald, a co-founder and member of the AIAP Governing Board, published an article in LCA's Litigation Commentary and Review.  The article is titled "Changing Horses Mid-Stream - Does It Make Sense to Engage Appellate Counsel to Lead the Charge Post-Trial and on Appeal?"  Tim's thoughtful article explains why the correct answer to the question is "yes." 

The article is available here.

Crafting An Influential And Effective Reply Brief

An article entitled "Crafting an Influential and Effective Reply Brief" by AIAP member Richard Kraus was published in Appellate Issues, the journal of the ABA Council of Appellate Lawyers.  The article is available here.

I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends

At the 2014 Litigation Counsel of America Fall Conference, AIAP members David Wirtes, Deborah Johnson Race, and Ned Miltenberg, along with special guest Prof. Neil Vidmar, Duke University Law School, discussed the reasons why clients can benefit from involving appellate attorneys at the trial.  Click here to view the materials from the presentation: I Get By WIth A Little Help From My Friends 


Richard Kraus Receives Civility Award

Richard Kraus, a shareholder with Foster, Swift, Collins & Smith in Lansing, Michigan, has received the Theodore W. Swift Civility Award from the Ingham County Bar Association.  The Swift Civility Award is given to the member of the Ingham County Bar Association that has distinguished himself or herself by “manifesting civility in his or her relations with the Bench, Bar, clients, and the public, while adhering to advancing the highest principals and traditions of the Legal Profession".

Richard was the first Chairperson of the American Institute of Appellate Practice and continues as a member of the Institute's Governing Board.

Read more: Richard Kraus Receives Civility Award

David Wirtes Named as Certified Appellate Specialist

sm ph dgwAlabama Attorney David G. Wirtes named Certified Appellate Specialist by AIAP Alabama attorney David Wirtes, of Cunningham Bounds, LLC, has been certified by the American Institute of Appellate Practice (AIAP) as an Appellate Specialist. Certification as an Appellate Specialist is limited to select Litigation Counsel of America Fellows who have been designated by their peers as meeting the exceedingly stringent criteria for exceptional competency in the practice of appellate law. Mr. Wirtes is responsible for legal research, motion practice, and appeals at his firm.

Read more: David Wirtes Named as Certified Appellate Specialist