Kendall Gray wrong in his blog The Appellate Record that "appellate lawyers are the chess club of the law world."  The most common function of an appellate lawyer is to bring issues of legal error to an appellate court after a trial.  An appellate lawyer keeps his "law focus" to every issue of a trial.  It is never too soon, says Gray, to consult an appellate lawyer.

A great trial lawyer once said, if you can’t tell your story in one Big Red Indian Chief Tablet with a number two pencil, then you’re sunk.  The appellate lawyer can help with the filter that reduces the room full of documents to the Big Red Indian Chief Tablet — based on the law in the law library.

As with other areas of law, the family law appellate lawyer can help get a case ready for trial.  The family law appellate lawyer can handle disputes over legal issues so the trial lawyer can focus on the fact issues.  The family law appellate lawyer can draft motions, briefs, or even the jury charge to fine-tune the really important legal issues.  The family law appellate lawyer can advise the trial lawyer as to what parts of the case really matter, and what can be left on the editing room floor.

Not all cases can justify the expense of a family law appellate lawyer, but in the right case, she can be an invaluable part of the team.

Hat Tip to Kendall Gray for his post Appellate Lawyers:  Why We’re in the Library.