March 14, 2014

New Edition of "Appellate Practice for the Maryland Lawyer" Released this Week

It was November 1, 1977 when the Maryland State Bar Association published the first edition of The Maryland Appellate Practice Handbook conceived and edited by yours truly. There are stories to tell about those days and how the book was then launched. But those stories are for another day. The book was a two-volume text featuring the nuts and bolts of appellate practice. The contributors, including the editor, shared ideas on every phase of the appellate process, from preserving the record to motions for reconsideration after appellate-court mandates.

Over the years numerous modifications helped keep the book current. Two significant and welcome changes were the advent of my friend and colleague at the Bar, Andrew D. Levy, as co-editor, and the emergence of the first volume edition of the book under its current title.

Recently Andy and I released the fourth edition of the book: Appellate Practice for the Maryland Lawyer, State and Federal (Sandler and Levy, Editors, MSBA, 2014). The first part of the book penetrates the inner workings of the Court of Appeals of Maryland, the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. The inside scoops are revealed not by counsel but by prominent judges on the courts, including two chief judges. The chapters are then followed by chapters contributed by the clerks of the courts and by court mediators.

The second part of the book examines brief-writing and oral argument with chapter contributions from expert appellate counsel and the judges. The reader can brush up the current law and techniques in filing motions and petitions for certiorari. Unique issues in administrative appeals and criminal appeals are also featured, as are sample briefs and cert petitions.

Over 37 judges and lawyers wrote chapters in the new edition, including the editors. The editors hope to have contributed to the improvement of appellate practice and to the dialogue of what makes an outstanding appellate brief and oral argument.

The editors take no royalties for the book, but we do take your suggestions for improvements, which we can include in future supplements and the next edition.