As a lawyer, few experiences are more exhilarating than standing before a panel of appellate justices, prepared to argue a well-briefed legal issue and answer any question that a justice may have about the case. The only way to achieve that feeling is by putting in the hours it takes to prepare a case for argument. The attorneys at Donovan & Engle are fortunate to have good working relationships with the best criminal defense minds in the Commonwealth, including academics and other practitioners. In every case, we moot (practice) our appellate arguments extensively with our colleagues before arguing them in court. That time and effort pays off when we can stand before the panel secure in the knowledge that we have anticipated and are prepared to answer any question that might be asked of us.

The other component of quality appellate advocacy is drafting a compelling brief. At Donovan & Engle, we work on perfecting the craft of legal writing. In fact, we consider this to be our greatest strength. We always strive to avoid legal jargon and to write clear and concise arguments. A legal claim that can’t be stated in plain, easy-to-understand language is not a winning claim. Of course, the occasional typo is unavoidable, as are legal terms. But our attention to detail and pride in our craft will be apparent in all of our written work. When you receive an email from a Donovan & Engle lawyer, it will be punctuated, properly capitalized, and grammatically correct, even if it is sent from a cell phone. We believe that a lawyer’s most important job is to communicate, and that effective communication takes time and effort. Samples of our legal writing are available upon request.