Generally, appeals involve appellate court review of specific types of orders or judgements entered by a trial court. On the other hand, extraordinary writs are applications to either a trial court or an appellate court, depending upon the type of case, for an order compelling or preventing certain action, or seeking to stay proceedings. For example, when the appeal from an interim order is appealable and the outcome could affect the manner in which the case is prepared for trial, a writ of supersedeas is sought at the appellate court, to stay proceedings in the trial court, pending the appellate court's review of the contested order. A writ of mandamus (or mandate) is sought to compel a government entity or agency to fulfill its alleged obligations; depending upon the subject matter of the case, the petition for writ of mandamus is presented to the trial court or to the appellate court.
Successful appellate advocacy involves:
1. Thorough knowledge of the types of orders that are subject to review.
the procedural steps that are required to seek appellate review
the applicable standards for review
and the appellate court's prior rulings and opinions in similar cases.
2. Mastery of the trial court record under review.
3. Effectively articulating in writing why action by the appellate court is both appropriate and necessary.
4. And effective oral argument to the appellate court, where oral argument is permitted.