Appellate Practice

Our lawyers have decades of experience representing civil plaintiffs and criminal defendants on appeal in state and federal courts. Four lawyers in the firm clerked for federal appellate judges and one chaired the North Carolina Bar Association’s Appellate Rules Committee. The firm has won landmark cases in the North Carolina Supreme Court and the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in civil rights, employment law, labor law, and workers’ compensation.

Click here to review examples of our appellate briefs.

Criminal Appeals

Patterson Harkavy regularly represents criminal defendants on direct appeal and in proceedings for post-conviction collateral relief.  Please click here for more information regarding our criminal appellate practice and the process for retaining us to assist you in your own criminal appeal.  

Co-Counsel Services

Patterson Harkavy’s attorneys often serve as appellate co-counsel to attorneys who handled the case at the trial level. Sometimes we are retained to write the appellate brief. In other cases, we provide the full range of appellate services, including preparation of the record on appeal, appellate motions practice, briefing, and oral argument.

Many trial lawyers have limited appellate experience, or find their time is better spent focusing on their clients’ needs in district and superior court. By working with our appellate team, you can ensure that your clients’ interests are well-represented at all stages of litigation.

Amicus Curiae Briefs

Our attorneys also regularly prepare amicus briefs to ensure that clients’ interests are represented in litigation to which they are not a party. We have been retained by other law firms to represent the interests of their clients, and have submitted briefs for organizations including the North Carolina Advocates for Justice, the ACLU of North Carolina, the North Carolina Association of Educators, and the North Carolina Association of Women Attorneys.

If you or your organization is interested in being heard in another party’s suit, please contact us to see if we can help.

Appellate Practice Team

Burton Craige heads our Appellate Practice team.  After receiving his B.A. from Harvard and his law degree from the University of North Carolina, Burton  joined the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice in 1980.  Since 1984 he has been in private practice in Raleigh, primarily representing individuals in tort, civil rights, and employment litigation.  From 2007 to 2019, Burton served as Legal Affairs Counsel for the North Carolina Advocates for Justice, directing the organization’s appellate assistance program, including the preparation of amicus briefs and convening moot courts to prepare for oral argument.

Narendra Ghosh is a key member of the Appellate Practice group. Narendra graduated summa cum laude from Harvard and magna cum laude from New York University School of Law. Before joining Patterson Harkavy, he served as a law clerk to the Honorable Emmet G. Sullivan of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia and to the Honorable A. Wallace Tashima of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Narendra’s areas of practice include employment law, labor law, workers’ compensation, criminal defense, wage and hour law, and civil rights.

Paul Smith received his B.A. from the University of North Carolina and his law degree from Columbia University, where he was a James Kent Scholar. Before entering private practice, he served as a law clerk to the Honorable N. Carlton Tilley in the Middle District of North Carolina.


If you need assistance with any type of appeal, please contact Narendra in our Chapel Hill office at (919) 942-5200.