Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2008


Political Science


The focus of this paper is to evaluate the role of advocates in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit by examining the characterization of issues offered in appellate briefs against the issues addressed in the court's decisions. Specifically, in an environment in which attorneys are expected to frame the issues on appeal and judges are expected to respond to those issues, what accounts for judges addressing some issues while suppressing others? By explicitly focusing on how the substantive content of an opinion is shaped, we depart from other, earlier scholarship on the advantages of "repeat player" litigants that primarily emphasizes who wins (and who loses) on appeal. Though this study is exploratory in its scope, we believe it does offer some important insights into the process of issue framing in the U.S. Courts of Appeals.

Original Publication Information

Haire, Susan B. and Laura P. Moyer. “Advocacy through Briefs in the U.S. Courts of Appeals.” 2008. Southern Illinois Law Review 32: 593. Available online at