Program Details
On Demand

Practical Tips for Writing a Successful Appellate Brief

Content Partner:  Celesq AttorneysEd Center
Price: $200.00*

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Description: Program Description:
Few things are more daunting than a blank page. In this program, experienced appellate advocates Rex Heinke and Susan Yorke will offer practical tips to help take you from that blank page to an effective brief. They will offer insights on the writing process, including advice about how to create a first draft and revise it once you do. They will also break down the elements of an appellate brief, offering strategies to leverage each component to your client’s advantage. And they will provide concrete methods for increasing the clarity and persuasiveness of your writing – from overall organization, to paragraph structure, to word choice. Finally, they will identify common pitfalls and explain how to avoid them.
Presenter Bios (to be included with description of program)
Rex Heinke is widely recognized as one of the most accomplished and experienced appellate practitioners in California, and among the best in the nation. He has argued more than 150 appeals in federal and state courts across the country. Between 2001 and 2020, Rex was co-head of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld’s nationally renowned Supreme Court and Appellate practice.
Rex is regularly called on to defend major corporations and high-profile individuals in some of their most hotly contested appellate matters. He has extensive experience before the California Supreme Court, the California Court of Appeal, and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, as well as other federal and state appellate courts. Rex’s victories have led to reversals of individual judgments worth more than $100 million and dramatic changes in law to the benefit of his clients. 
Susan Yorke has participated in more than a hundred appeals, winning in the Ninth Circuit, Oregon Supreme Court, and California and Oregon intermediate appellate courts. She twice served as a law clerk on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, to Judges Susan P. Graber and Edward Leavy. She spent years focusing on civil and criminal appeals in the Ninth Circuit and state appellate courts while an Assistant Attorney General in the Appellate Division of the Oregon Department of Justice. She was also, for a time, Court Counsel to the Supreme Court of the Republic of Palau.
Susan has litigated appeals on topics ranging from constitutional and criminal law to trade secrets and professional licensure. She has dealt with complicated jurisdictional and procedural issues in both state and federal court, and conducted numerous realistic assessments on the chances for success in Ninth Circuit appeals from adverse decisions. She has provided strategic advice to trial teams with complex or high-stakes trial matters, consulting on pleadings and motions and ensuring that issues are adequately preserved for appeal.
In 2018, the Ninth Circuit’s appellate judges appointed Susan an Appellate Lawyer Representative to the Circuit’s Judicial Conference, one of a small number of lawyers hand-selected by the court to serve as a liaison between the bench and bar. In 2021, she was named a “Rising Star” in Appellate Law by SuperLawyers.
In addition to her appellate practice, Susan currently teaches the Ninth Circuit Practicum at Berkeley Law. She has also taught several other law school and college courses, including an interdisciplinary class on the Supreme Court and social change, as well as a writing-intensive class aimed at preparing students for judicial clerkships. She serves as co-editor of the ABA’s Appellate Practice Journal and on the Editorial Board for the Federal Bar Association’s magazine, The Federal Lawyer.
Susan graduated from Columbia Law School as a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar and obtained a master’s degree in public policy from Princeton University. She received her undergraduate degree in mathematics and English, with honors, from Williams College.

Practice Areas: Administrative Law & Regulation, Business Organizations & Contracts, Legal Research & Writing
Online Media Type: Audio
Production Date: 02/24/2022
Level: Intermediate
Category: Standard
Duration: 1 Hours, 2 Minutes
Online Format: On Demand

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Purchase of this product provides online access for 180 days. If you are purchasing a live webcast, you will receive complimentary access to the on demand version for 180 days once it becomes available. Please note that the on demand and podcast versions may, or may not be accredited in your state.

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Credit Eligibility:
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Total Credits: 1
Specialty Credits: 
Status: Reciprocal Credit Available
Expiration: 02/23/2025
Training Type: Online

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Rex Heinke, Esq. - California Appellate Law Group LLP
Susan Yorke, Esq. - California Appellate Law Group LLP
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