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An appellate counsel means a lawyer or attorney who represents a party on appeal. The term is often used as contrary to a trial counsel.
Pursuant to 10 USCS § 870 the judge advocate general shall detail in his/her office one or more commissioned officers as appellate government counsel, and one or more commissioned officers as appellate defense counsel. The appellate government counsel shall represent the U.S. before the court of criminal appeals or the court of appeals for the Armed Forces when directed to do so by the judge advocate general. The appellate defense counsel shall represent the accused before the court of criminal appeals, the court of appeals for the Armed Forces, or the Supreme Court when requested by the accused, or when the U.S. is represented by counsel, or when the judge advocate general has sent the case to the court of appeals for the Armed Forces.