The Appellate Practice Section offers an online Appellate Help Desk for people who are representing themselves in a
Wisconsin appeal. Our volunteer lawyers are happy to explain rules and provide 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.
See the Guide here.
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.
What does an Appellant's Initial Brief looks like?
Before trying to write an appellate brief, check out how a finished one looks.
How do I write an Appellate Brief?
The Appellate Help Desk offers a Brief Assistant App that will walk you through the process of creating an Appellant's
Initial Brief. The Brief Assistant will prompt you to answer questions on a form and then generate your brief in the
format required by the Court of Appeals. You may save the brief and edit until you are ready to file it.
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 consult with a lawyer about the law that applies to the issues in your appeal, visit Wisconsin Legal