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Let our trusted lawyer fight for you in an appellate court

Patrick O'Bryan served as a law clerk to Justice Harris in 1976-77 and served as Director of Appellate Screening for the Iowa Supreme Court for a number of years beginning in the mid-1980's. He has handled numerous appeals in both the Iowa and Federal Courts.


Visit O'Bryan Law Firm of Des Moines, IA at 300 Walnut Street, Suite 125 to file your appellate case before it's waived.

Learn the difference between an appeal and a trial

The significant difference between an appeal and a trial is that no evidence is presented to a judge or jury and no witnesses are called in an appellate case.


Instead, an appeal is presented by an appellate lawyer to a panel of three or more judges and is decided almost entirely on written briefs.

The steps we follow in the appellate procedure

1. Evaluate the issues in the case

2. Review motions filed by lawyers in trial court because they tend to identify the important issues

3. Read the trial transcript

4. Work with trial lawyers to understand the facts of the case

5. Conduct legal research to assess the strength of the issues raised at trial

6. Write an 'issues memo' after the research and analysis, and consult with you and trial lawyers to identify the most promising issues

7. Write the brief, which is a time-consuming process

8. Share the brief with you and trial counsel; incorporate comments and reactions

9. Continue to refine the brief until it must be filed

10. Present the oral argument

11. Manage post-hearing steps