Appellate Law

Now that all civil litigants and all criminal defendants enjoy an appeal of right to the Court of Appeals of Virginia, every trial lawyer in the Commonwealth needs the support of solid appellate counsel.   Appeals are a unique area of law.  Successfully prosecuting (or defending) an appeal requires understanding the complex procedural rules that govern appeals, as well as impeccable writing and oral advocacy skills.  Attorney Chris Holinger has been honing his knowledge and skills in these areas since his early days in law school when he served as an intern for Chief Justice S. Bernard Goodwyn at the Supreme Court of Virginia, and he began his career as a law clerk for then-Chief Judge Glen Huff on the Virginia Court of Appeals.  His time “on the inside” gave Chris a detailed understanding of what works, and what does not, in appellate advocacy and he has used that insight to help his clients ever since.  Chris has argued cases at the Supreme Court of Virginia and the Court of Appeals on behalf of both civil litigants and criminal defendants, and he has published articles and taught Continuing Legal Education classes on the unique aspects of appellate litigation.

Chris Holinger was recently named a “legal elite” in the 24th edition of Virginia Business, and he was the only appellate lawyer in Virginia to be separately recognized for 2024.

24th Edition Virginia Business

More often than not, the first steps to a successful appeal are taken during the trial, by ensuring that objections and arguments are properly put before the trial court.  Chris is available to serve as “embedded” appellate counsel and to consult at key points during a trial (e.g., demurrers, 12(b)(6) motions, evidentiary challenges, motions for summary judgment and motions to strike) to ensure that a litigant’s chances on appeal are not snuffed out before they even start. He has even succeeded in getting a criminal defendant a new trial by bringing a timely motion to reconsider the trial court’s decision regarding a continuance to locate a missing witness.

If you are a trial attorney who doesn’t want to have to learn a whole new practice area, or part of a firm that doesn’t have a dedicated appellate section, then you need Chris to help you carry forward an appeal or defend a hard-won verdict.  Let Chris be your firm’s “outsourced appellate counsel” so that you can focus on your next trial.

Want to find out more? Schedule a call with a Davis, Burch & Abrams professional today.

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