The Appellate Division supervises the office’s litigation in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, which has jurisdiction over federal appeals from Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, and Michigan. Assistant U.S. Attorneys from the Criminal and Civil Divisions typically handle cases from inception through appeal, and the Appellate Division assists in developing arguments on appeal, reviews all appellate briefs, and helps prosecutors prepare for oral argument. In addition to defending convictions from challenges brought by criminal defendants, the Appellate Division also brings affirmative appeals to the Sixth Circuit from adverse district court decisions when appropriate, after consultation with the Solicitor General’s Office and the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C.
The Appellate Division also serves as general counsel to the office, providing legal advice on issues as they arise from investigation through trial. As the law develops through new statutes and cases, the Appellate Division provides internal updates on significant changes in the law and helps formulate policies about how those changes should be implemented.