The Appellate Practice Section offers an online Appellate Help Desk for people who are representing themselves in a
Wisconsin civil appeal. Our volunteer lawyers are happy to explain rules and provide legal information so that you may pursue
or defend your rights in a Wisconsin civil appeal. Unfortunately, we cannot assist you with a
criminal appeal or a federal appeal. Click here to find out what the Appellate
Help Desk can and cannot do for you.
Ask a Lawyer
How do I contact the Appellate Help Desk?
If you have a question about your Wisconsin civil appeal, click Ask a Lawyer and tell us how we can
help you. Or you may call the Appellate Help Desk and leave a message at 414-671-9041. A volunteer lawyer will respond
to your email or voicemail message.
When will the Appellate Help Desk respond to my email or voicemail?
A volunteer lawyer staffs the Appellate Help Desk every Tuesday and Thursday
(excluding holidays). The lawyer will generally respond to emails and voicemails in the order in which they were
received. If you are up against a deadline, please indicate the deadline in your email or voicemail.
How do I file an appeal?
To appeal an order in a civil case, you will need to file a Notice of Appeal, a Docketing Statement, and a Statement
on Transcript. The Court of Appeals has prepared a
Guide to Appellate Procedure for the Self-Represented explaining what these forms are and how to file them.
Are there forms for filing an appeal or motion in the court of appeals?
Yes. The forms are available on the
Wisconsin Court of Appeals website.
How can I check on the status of or developments in my appeal?
The docket reports for all pending appeals are available online here. To find your case, simply enter the information you know and click "Search." Once your case is open, click "Case History" to view the full history of your case.
What does an Appellant's Initial Brief looks like?
Before trying to write an appellate brief, here are some examples of what a finished one looks like. We also offer an online Brief Assistant if you need help preparing a properly formatted brief.
How do I write an Appellate Brief?
The Appellate Help Desk offers an App called the Brief Assistant that will direct you to legal resources and walk you through the process of creating an Initial Brief, a Response Brief, or a Reply Brief for an appeal. The Brief Assistant will prompt you to answer questions on a form and then generate a draft of your brief in the format required by the Court of Appeals. You may save the draft brief and edit it until you are ready to file it. Try the Brief Assistant!
Where do I find the law to cite in my Appellate Brief?
To find a broad range of legal resources and to "ask a librarian" visit the
Wisconsin State Law Library's website.
To find statues, constitutions, and administrative rules, visit the
Wisconsin State Legislature's website.
To find case law, visit Google Scholar, select "case law" and the appropriate court(s).
To get brief answers from a lawyer about the law that applies to the issues in your civil appeal, visit Wisconsin Free Legal Answers.