Appellate defense attorneys face a dilemma when faced with an appeal that has no obvious merit. No-merit briefs allow an attorney to forego an appeal when there is no apparent merit. In cases involving direct appeals from conviction, the cost of abandonment of the client far outweighs the benefits.
Randall L. Hodgkinson,
No-Merit Briefs Undermine the Adversary Process in Criminal Appeals,
3 J. App. Prac. & Process 55
Available at: http://lawrepository.ualr.edu/appellatepracticeprocess/vol3/iss1/5