Research and Writing for Appeals: Are You Ready to Write an Appellate Brief? (On Demand Seminar)

MCLE Credits: 1.0
Ethics Credits Included: 0.0

MCLE Credit: 1.0 (Ethics: 0.0)
Live-Interactive Credit: 0.0
Designation Credit: 1.0 Trial Practice/Litigation (Designations Information)
Price: $79 (Includes a downloadable audio version.)
Viewable Through: 08/31/2025


A pre-recorded streaming VIDEO replay of the August 2022 webcast, Research and Writing for Appeals: Are You Ready to Write an Appellate Brief?

Course Outline

  • Explore the principles behind writing effective appellate briefs
  • Review strategies for legal research to support your client’s position
  • Avoid common pitfalls that attorneys make in appellate briefs

For the first time in Virginia’s history, litigants in circuit courts now have an appeal of right to the Court of Appeals of Virginia. As a result, there likely will be a sharp increase in appeals from undesirable trial outcomes. Therefore, litigation attorneys should embrace this opportunity and be ready to write appellate briefs to preserve their clients’ rights.

In this one-hour seminar, Erin DeBoer and John O’Herron discuss the mechanics of researching, writing, and editing effective appellate briefs.

Topics to be covered:

  • Review strategies for legal research
  • Understand how standards of review relate to appellate briefs 
  • Receive tips on how to organize appellate briefs and use argumentative headings to strengthen your position
  • Avoid common pitfalls that attorneys make in appellate briefs
  • Get tips on how to review and edit appellate briefs
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Erin DeBoer, Anchor Legal Group, PLLC / Virginia Beach
John P. O'Herron, ThompsonMcMullan, PC / Richmond


Erin DeBoer, Anchor Legal Group, PLLC / Virginia Beach

A native of Tidewater, Virginia, Erin DeBoer is an attorney who specializes in appellate law, with a keen eye for researching novel legal issues and writing litigation briefs. Her background as an attorney is unique—she has worked for nonprofits, in academia, and also in the judicial branch of government.  

Ms. DeBoer earned a B.A. from Hillsdale College, summa cum laude.  Thereafter, she spent two years in Washington, DC, as a governmental affairs specialist for a nonprofit organization.  She planned and executed events attended by members of congress and congressional staff; she wrote on legislative issues; she managed press releases; and she participated in legislative briefings.  Ultimately, her desire to uphold justice and protect the rights of the vulnerable motivated her to attend law school.

Ms. DeBoer received her J.D., summa cum laude, from Regent University School of Law.  During law school, she pursued her interest in constitutional law by becoming a Blackstone Fellow and working with Alliance Defending Freedom and the American Center for Law and Justice.  She continued to enjoy writing and won the first Leroy R. Hassell, Sr. Writing Competition.

After graduating from law school, Ms. DeBoer served as a law clerk to the Hon. S. Bernard Goodwyn in the Supreme Court of Virginia.  She then joined the faculty of Regent University School of Law, where she taught Legal Analysis, Research, and Writing, as a full-time faculty member and later served as an adjunct professor, teaching Appellate Advocacy and American Legal Systems and Writing.  She also worked for several years as a legal consultant for a local law firm and, more recently, returned to the Supreme Court of Virginia to serve two more years as a law clerk.

The nearly four years that Ms. DeBoer worked for the Supreme Court of Virginia refined her interest in appellate law.  She enjoyed seeing legal issues from the perspective of the court and believes her vast experience in reading and analyzing appellate cases helps her assist clients in the appellate process.

During her free time, Ms. DeBoer enjoys spending time with her husband and children, especially at the beach or lake.

John P. O'Herron, ThompsonMcMullan, PC / Richmond

Appellate law operates unlike any other area of law and requires an understanding—and appreciation for—the highly complex appellate rules, procedure, and process. It’s a legal discipline where John O’Herron has dedicated most of his law practice.

Driven by that experience and embracing the challenge of effective appellate advocacy, Mr. O’Herron offers a variety of appellate services to law firms, attorneys, and litigants who trust him for their appellate matters. This includes consulting and representation related to perfecting or resisting an appeal, briefing and argument, and amicus curiae representation.

Mr. O’Herron has represented insurance companies, individuals, non-profit organizations, and businesses in numerous appeals, tapping into his familiarity with appellate law and procedure and his proven track record of crafting successful appellate arguments. His unique expertise enables him to provide high-quality representation for written or oral advocacy to maximize the chance of success at both the petition and merits stages of an appeal.

Mr. O’Herron also excels in non-appellate matters. He regularly represents constitutional officers such as sheriffs and their deputies, clerks of court, and commonwealth’s attorneys in both litigation and non-litigation matters. He represents businesses in various types of disputes or legal needs, including those related to contract disputes or licensure, as well as insurance companies and their insureds in both coverage and liability disputes.

Mr. O’Herron and his wife live in Richmond with their five children. He enjoys music, reading, and spending time with his family. He is also passionate about education and is the founding president of Cardinal Newman Academy, an independent high school in Richmond.

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