The Appellate Unit represents the State in appellate matters arising in criminal and quasi-criminal cases and juvenile delinquency matters in Monmouth County. This representation entails filing briefs and appearing for oral argument in the state appellate courts and answering habeas corpus petitions in the federal courts. The Appellate Unit both responds to appeals filed by criminal defendants and, in appropriate cases, applies for appellate review of decisions adverse to the State, such as orders suppressing evidence or granting a defendant Pretrial Intervention over prosecutorial objection.
The Unit also provides trial support by assisting the Trial and Investigative Division assistant prosecutors with legal issues that arise before and during their trials, including but not limited researching evidentiary issues, drafting and reviewing jury instructions, advising on legal issues and case strategy, and filing emergent interlocutory appeals. In addition to briefs filed in the appellate courts, the Appellate Unit is responsible for briefing: (1) all motions filed in cases assigned to the Investigative Division; (2) all post judgment motions filed in cases assigned to the Trial Division; and (3) motions filed in any case that raise a novel or complex legal issue. Attorneys from the Appellate Unit appear for oral argument in the Superior Court, Law Division, primarily on post-conviction relief hearings and municipal appeals. The unit also handles civil discovery motions, interstate witness applications and name changes.
The Appellate Unit presently is comprised of four assistant prosecutors, one part-time legal assistant, three law clerks hired for a one-year term, and support staff.