Appellate Attorney Gray R. Proctor
From Small Claims Court to the Supreme Court

Why hire me?

Success starts

with the right tools.

A different kind of job ...

A trials is a show for the average citizen. A good trial attorney is part actor, part salesman, and part preacher. If the jury likes you and trusts you, you can convince them that your client should win.

… takes a different kind of lawyer.

An appeal is a PhD dissertation for a team of experts. A good appellate attorney is part researcher, part scholar, and part debater. If you can convince the panel that your client should win, you can establish a new rule by which other cases will be judged in the future.

You can’t win with the wrong tool.

I learned a sad truth early in my career: many attorneys are poor writers At worst, they annoy the Court by misrepresenting the record and the law, and by resorting to name-calling. They make jury arguments. They are careless in their writing because they think their words will matter more. They don’t edit and proofread because they think they are above it. In short, they just don’t understand what it’s like for a judge deciding an appeal, or they don’t care to make the judge’s life easier.

Put my experience, pride, and passion to work for you.

I don’t do trials because my talents lie in research and writing. After years of training and practicing, my skills and experience lie in appellate advocacy. If you’re on appeal, I’ve got the tools for the job.

There’s no such thing as an average case. I take every case personally. “Good” is never good enough. You can rest assured that I will spend as much time as it takes to research the law and facts of your case, and bring them to life. I haven’t done my job until anyone — anyone — who reads the brief understands both your situation and the reason you should win.

EDUCATION

      Vanderbilt University Law School, Nashville, TN                              

            J.D.:  2007                  

      University of Texas, Dallas, TX                                                          

            B.S., Economics and Finance, with honors:  1998                                      

EXPERIENCE

      Law Office of Gray R. Proctor, Richmond, VA                                               2012-current

Solo Practitioner:  Single-attorney law office focused on civil and criminal appeals.

    United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, Richmond, VA           2010-2012

Staff Attorney:  Draft memoranda and opinions for three-judge panels in appeals from federal courts in Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, and South Carolina.

  U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia, Richmond, VA                     2008-2010

Law Clerk:  Draft opinions and orders in postconviction and prisoner civil rights cases in the Richmond Division of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. 

    U. S. District Court, Southern District of Texas, Corpus Christi, TX                2007-2008

Law Clerk:  Draft opinions and orders for the Honorable Brian Owsley. 

Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN 2006-07

Research Assistant: Read and coded over 800 federal habeas corpus cases, including over 100 death penalty cases. Tracked every claim and defense raised in every case, along with final result.

ORGANIZATIONAL POSITIONS

 Advisory Board, BNA Bloomberg Criminal Law Reporter. 

Assistant Editor, Articles and Pro Se Handbook, Florida Bar Appellate Practice Committee.

 

Most legal writing is bad writing, so to encounter a superbly written brief makes the judge nearly overflow with gratitude.
— HON. RAYMOND M. KETHLEDGE, U.S. COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE SIXTH CIRCUIT
[T]he skills needed for effective appellate advocacy are not always found—indeed, perhaps, are rarely found—in good trial lawyers. . . . [I]t is astonishing how many cases are presented by lawyers who are simply not up to the task.
— Hon. Laurence H. Silberman, Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
The appellate practitioner requires the imagination and intuition of the artist, the discipline and logic of the scientist, the design sense of the architect, and the expertise in human perception of the psychologist. But most importantly he must be able to view the overall problem through the eyes of appellate judges and manifest qualities of overview, objectivity, and fairness.
— Hon. Sarah B. Duncan, Justice, Texas Fourth Court of Appeals