Appellate advocates represent clients who are challenging an adverse court or tribunal decision or defending a favourable one.
Given process and timing constraints imposed on the appeals process, the original arguments cannot simply be made again; therefore, a different skill set is required than in the initial proceedings.
Successful appellate advocacy requires identifying a limited number of compelling points on which to focus, understanding and making the most effective use of the existing evidence, having a strong sense both of where the law stands and of how it can be shaped, and superb written and oral presentation skills. Having an appellate advocate who combines these traits maximizes the client’s chances of convincing the appellate body to either overturn or uphold the original decision.
Our tradition of appellate excellence dates from when appeals from Canadian courts were still heard by the Privy Council in London, where the firm’s founder travelled to do battle. Today, Farris litigators continue the tradition by appearing at all levels of appellate courts, including the Supreme Court of Canada. Several Farris lawyers clerked for judges of that court and the B.C. Court of Appeal.
We represent parties bringing an appeal, parties defending a decision, interveners and third parties who have a material interest in the judgment being challenged. Our breadth of experience in many areas of law has equipped our litigators to argue appeals on subjects as varied as constitutional rights and freedoms, class actions, commercial law, arbitration, energy and regulatory law, wills and estates, professional liability and property assessment. We have argued many leading cases that continue to be cited on important issues.
In addition to counsel work before the courts, on occasion Farris lawyers provide second opinions to other lawyers who are determining whether to pursue appeals and provide them with ongoing advice and support.
Farris litigators are heavily engaged in related work involving judicial review of the decisions of administrative tribunals. The scope of judicial review is often narrower than that of true appeals and usually involves questions regarding fair process and statutory constraints on the first decision maker. Our lawyers have argued many judicial reviews both on behalf of and challenging statutory decision-makers in areas such as securities law, labour law and agriculture.