An appeal to a higher court involves the baseline statistic that in general the trial courts are upheld 80 percent of the time. It is against this backdrop that one undertakes an appeal to a higher court, regardless of which side of the case you may be upon. In theory, the merits of an individual appeal will outweigh the statistics, but that has undoubtedly been the thought of most who undertake an appeal. If you represent the appellant (the party who lost), it is indeed an uphill battle. If you represent the appellee, you still face significant exposure to losing on appeal the victory you gained in the trial court.
Appellate work involves a different skill-set than does trial work. In addition to requiring in-depth and scholarly legal research, appellate work requires a zest for oral argument before an appellate panel of, usually, three to seven judges simultaneously. In a limited time of usually 15–30 minutes you must argue your case while one or all of the judges on your appellate panel are free to interrupt you at any point with any questions whatsoever that may be on any judge’s mind. It is both a challenging and exciting environment, which Andy thoroughly enjoys.
Andy Quiat is experienced with appeals in the Colorado Court of Appeals, the Colorado Supreme Court and the United States Courts of Appeals for the Ninth and Tenth Circuits. He has on three occasions petitioned the United States Supreme Court, but has been amongst the 97 percent of petitions that the Court declines to hear.