The Kightlinger & Gray Experience

The appellate attorneys of Kightlinger & Gray, LLP are skilled in handling appeals at all levels in the state and federal courts. Our appellate practitioners have approximately 88 years of collective experience and have participated in almost 400 appeals, resulting in reported and memorandum decisions. We have extensive experience prosecuting and defending appeals before the Indiana State Courts, Kentucky State Courts, and the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Sixth and Seventh Circuits. Some of our appellate advocates are also admitted to, and have experience with appeals pending before, the U.S. Supreme Court. Our appellate attorneys have additionally served as counsel for amicus curiae—or friend of the court—in a number of high profile decisions.

Effective appellate representation requires knowledge of the technical aspects of appeals, along with an understanding of judicial perspectives. The rules of appellate procedure are as fluid as the rules of trial procedure and our appellate attorneys are familiar with the governing rules (as well as any case-law rule interpretations). We also understand that appellate courts are tribunals of last resort and that the opportunity to influence the court is often limited to a principal brief, a reply brief (if you are the initiating party), and—only occasionally—oral argument.

The Kightlinger & Gray appellate team includes several individuals with law-clerk experience. Crystal Rowe, Practice Group Chair, spent five years working as a judicial clerk at the Indiana Court of Appeals, and another year working as a judicial clerk at the trial-court level. Her experiences have instilled a deep understanding of appellate and trial practice.  Similarly, Alyssa Cochran served for two years as a legal advisor to the Indiana Supreme Court, making legal recommendations on cases seeking transfer to the Indiana Supreme Court, researching and drafting opinions, and reviewing all draft opinions prepared by the Justices of the Court. Sarah Hurdle also gained valuable experience working in her law school’s Appellate Clinic and as a judicial extern to the Indiana Supreme Court and the Marion Superior Court.

Appellate Representation

Appellate representation demands an experienced and focused approach. Because of the different standards of review dictating the lens through which the Court on Appeal will review the case, arguments that are successful at the trial level may simply not be sufficient to win an appeal. Our experienced appellate practitioners are able to view the facts in an objective manner and filter them through the appropriate standards of review, to determine whether an appeal should be initiated and, if so, which arguments should be raised. Our appellate team is proficient at weeding out arguments that have little chance of success on the merits and, instead, focusing on the arguments most favorable to our client’s position. We handle appeals in all areas of law that the law firm practices. We handle appeals at every level of the state and federal court systems and do so efficiently, make the representation cost effective.

Our appellate team is expertly positioned to draw upon their years of experience to create and advance the best possible arguments in an effort to meet and exceed our clients’ needs. When your appeal matters, you can count on Kightlinger & Gray’s appellate experience.

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