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Best Practices & Tips for Appellate Advocacy

(755 reviews)

Produced on September 26, 2017

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Course Information

Time 1h 4m
Difficulty Intermediate
Topics covered in this course: Constitutional Litigation

Course Description

As every attorney knows, there is much to consider and prepare for in order to successfully argue a case before a state or federal court. But to argue an appeal before a state or federal court, requires a higher level of attention to detail and persuasion as well as developing the confidence to stand your ground. This becomes especially important as a case makes it way through multiple rounds of appeals or becomes a candidate for Supreme Court review.

This course, taught by Robert B. Fitzpatrick, a leading employment lawyer who is admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of the United States, will assist attorneys, new and experienced, in developing the skill set needed to effectively argue an appeal.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Understand the importance of first impressions, including decorum, civility, and “roadmaps”
  2. Identify the role and goals of the Court in which you are arguing your appeal
  3. Assess the importance of the record and case law in presenting effective arguments

Credit Information

After completing this course, Lawline will report your attendance information to {{ accredMasterState.state.name }}. Please ensure your license number is filled out in your profile to ensure timely reporting. For more information, see our {{ accredMasterState.state.name }} CLE Requirements page . After completing this course, {{ accredMasterState.state.name }} attorneys self-report their attendance and CLE compliance. For more information on how to report your CLE courses, see our {{ accredMasterState.state.name }} CLE Requirements FAQ .


Robert B. Fitzpatrick

Robert B. Fitzpatrick, PLLC

Robert Brian Fitzpatrick is the principal in the law firm of Robert B. Fitzpatrick PLLC in Washington, D.C. where he represents clients in employment law and employee benefits matters. Mr. Fitzpatrick has concentrated his practice in employment law disputes for over forty years. He has represented clients in individual and class actions. He has represented clients in employment discrimination, workplace harassment, retaliation, age discrimination, FMLA, ADA, whistleblower, wrongful termination, non-compete, trade secrets, Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, and wage and hour claims among others. He counsels numerous executive clients regarding employment agreements and compensation issues. He has negotiated literally thousands of severance agreements. He has represented clients in practically every industry and profession, including government employees, employees in the hospitality industry, the high tech/computer, government contractors, transportation, entertainment, sports, financial services, trade associations, and academia.

Prior to entering private practice, Mr. Fitzpatrick served as a staff attorney in the Jackson, Mississippi office of the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law in the late 1960's; as a staff attorney in the Office of General Counsel of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in the early 1970's; and with the Washington Research Project (now the Children's Defense Fund) training minority attorneys in the Deep South to litigate employment discrimination cases.

He has been in private practice in Washington, D.C. since 1970, having been born in Washington, D.C., and raised in neighboring Chevy Chase, Maryland. He attended Georgetown Preparatory School in North Bethesda, and received his undergraduate degree from the George Washington University. He is the father of three. He is an avid alpine mountaineer.

He is a Fellow of the College of Labor & Employment Lawyers, having been inducted as a Fellow at the first annual induction ceremony in 1996. He has been listed as one of The Best Lawyers in America® for 25 continuous years.

He is admitted to practice in all courts of the District of Columbia (Superior Court, D.C. Court of Appeals, and the Federal District Court of the District of Columbia), the Federal District Court for Maryland, the Federal District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi, the Supreme Court of the United States, and the United States Courts of Appeal for the District of Columbia as well as the Fourth and Sixth Circuits.

Mr. Fitzpatrick is an active member of the American Bar Association (ABA) and the District of Columbia Bar, being a frequent speaker at Bar meetings and a participant in the activities of several sections of the ABA and the D.C. Bar. He has been Co-Chairman of the ABA's Committee on Individual Employee Rights and Responsibilities of the Labor and Employment Law Section; Co-Chairman of the Steering Committee of the Labor Relations Section of the D.C. Bar; Chairman and founder of the D.C. Bar's Committee on Individual Employee Rights and Responsibilities; Chairman of the Federal Bar Association's Labor Law and Labor Relations Section; Chairman of the FBA's Committee on Equal Employment Opportunity; Chair of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee of the ABA's Section of Individual Rights and Responsibilities; and Chair of the Employer-Employee Relations Committee of the Torts and Insurance Practice Section of the ABA. He has been a member of the Class Action Task Force of the Torts & Insurance Practice Section of the ABA and served as a member of the Long Range Planning Committee of ABA's Torts and Insurance Practice Section.

Mr. Fitzpatrick has been a trustee of the Dalkon Shield Other Claimants Trust appointed by the late Hon. Robert R. Merhige, Jr. of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. He has been a member of the Committee on Pro Se Litigation of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. 

Mr. Fitzpatrick received his J.D. Degree with honors from the George Washington University's National Law Center in 1967. He has been a member of the Bar of the District of Columbia since 1968. 


John M.

Very basic presentation - well-suited only for inexperienced appellate advocates

Christopher K.

An excellent, concise, well organized summary of practical advice and tips.

Stephen A.

Great Speaker.

Michael M.

Great presentation. Interesting, informative and humorous.

Shirlee B.

Grest presentation.

Barbara C.

Found the appellate practice advice well-informed from litigation experience.

Harold M.


Kenneth W.

I liked this guy

Andrew P.

I really liked his real-world stories.

Andrew P.

Mr. Fitzpatrick is a wealth of knowledge and experience Well done!!!

Peter W.


Michael A.

Best video CLE I've done in my career. Most usable tips

Eric M.

Fantastic expert!

Marsha W.

Very good presentation.

Keith B.

Most outstanding!! Very well presented and exceptionally good in content. First rate!

Michael O.

Very informative. Provided a ton of useful information and tips.

Stephen C.

Well done.

Thomas S.

Good stories, even relevant to the discussion.

William Z.

Great content. Audio quality was excellent and I loved the practical advice based on Mr. Fitzpatrick's years of experience.

Angela R.

Great course and interesting speaker

Amy M.

Great--loved the slides!

Harrison S.

Knowledgeable and experienced; well qualified to teach on this subject

Craig S.

Loved it. Speaker gave simple but practical suggestions. Story about Scalia was entertaining, too.

David M.

Great lecture

Rosa G.

Speaker was great! I loved his real world examples and experiences. I’d love to learn more from him.

Robert J.

Awesome presentation of great practical tips from someone with a wealth of experience. Highly recommend this seminar.

Victoria L. B.

Very very interesting and informative.

Al W.

Good course. Likeable speaker.

Claude A.


Bonnie A.

Best Class I have taken

Elisa A.

Very practical advice from an obviously experienced attorney.

Jane M.

Very interesting presenter.

Solomon S.

Good seminar

Valerie W.

Basic and too the point. Good class on the topic.

Zachary M.

A well presented oral argument about oral argument.

amy l.

thank you! very engaging and many interesting points to mull over. i will definitely recommend!

Sheldon M.

i wish i could make every new(er) lawyer in my office take this course

Shellie S.

Very solid presentation with great anecdotes.

Edward P.

This was a very practical and intelligent course; excellent speaker.

Thomas T.

Great presentation. Very useful information.

Dominique N.

Very helpful presentation.

Maria F.

Best speaker I have ever heard.

Georgette J.

Excellent speaker and content

Barbara D.

Very interesting speaker!


An informative, brilliant presentation. Thank you very much.

Louise C.

Exceptional and practical.

Melissa R.

Really terrific presentation!

Alexander C.

Guy was good

Lee H.

Mr. Fitzpatrick is a very persuasive guy--down to earth, lots of good common sense, very knowledgeable, and knows how to write briefs and present arguments before appellate courts and trial courts. He obviously is a very experienced plaintiff's attorney and a very formidable opponent for those on the defense!! Excellent course!!

James C.

You just can't beat instruction from the veteran lawyer who has forgotten more than you know. A really fine presentation from an accomplished advocate.

joseph b.

Great discussion. Turned years of experience into insight and direction.

Lisa W.

EXCELLENT. What Great advice...practical, down to earth but clearly wise.

David P.

Very experienced and practical speaker.

Laura M.


Edward D.

Great tips!



Shane C.

Very informative

Bob S.

I would give this a 5 if I could.

Howard A.

Lots of helpful tips from a very experienced appellate attorney.

Celeste H.G. B.

Great presentation. Simple rules, effectively conveyed, with lovely storytelling.

John B.

Excellent presenter, he kept the information flowing and kept my attention. Very good.

Georgian P.

Helpful information!

Kent W.

Good job, very informative.

Ronald B.

Very good presentation.

Thaddeus A.

Really great presentation!

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