Trial attorneys are responsible for the initial investigation into cases and negotiate with the prosecution to try and reach a settlement. Where a settlement cannot be reached, the trial lawyer fights the case in court. On the other hand, appellate lawyers don’t search for evidence and instead look over the case proceedings thus far. They then write a written brief explaining their argument.
Most cases that go to appeal are due to a violation of the defendant’s constitutional rights with local, state, or federal governments. These can be civil cases, criminal cases, bankruptcy cases, or a range of other appeals.