Handling appeals represents a distinct form of advocacy. Appellate courts do not take evidence or adjudicate facts like a trial court. Instead, they consider only discrete legal issues arising out of one party's challenge to an order or judgment of a trial court. Appellate lawyers for the US Attorney's Office carefully review the records of trial court proceedings, prepare detailed written briefs, and in many cases, argue their appellate cases before the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, which is based in Atlanta, Georgia. Eleventh Circuit appellate decisions govern the disposition of subsequent similar issues litigated in the trial courts of all three states in the Eleventh Circuit, not just in the district courts of the Northern District of Florida.
The Appellate Division's caseload involves a wide variety of legal issues and different types of substantive law. In many cases, it represents the Government in appeals filed by criminal defendants who are seeking appellate review of their convictions or sentences. The majority of the criminal appeals deal with other federal offenses such as large-scale drug conspiracies, immigration and firearms offenses, and child pornography cases.