Appeals attorneys specialize in handling cases on appeal after a jury trial or decision by a lower court. They argue these cases in an appellate court to determine whether the prior verdict was just.
Appeals attorneys have extensive experience as trial lawyers and understand the legal issues involved in their clients’ cases. This allows them to spot legal issues and frame them in persuasive briefs.
Appeals attorneys handle cases that have not gone their way in a trial court. Appeals are review of the lower trial court record by a panel of judges to determine if errors were made during the trial process that affected the outcome.
Appellate lawyers are trained in reviewing the entire trial court transcript and finding any errors that were made during the trial process. These include issues that the jury did not consider, pre-trial motions that were filed, and any errors that were made by the judge.
These lawyers also draft a written brief for the court to explain why they think the trial court’s decision was wrong. This written brief informs the court of the legal mistake that occurred during the trial and why it should reverse the decision for a new trial or a new hearing.
Whether you are appealing a civil or criminal judgment, it is important to have an attorney with experience handling appeals. Having an experienced, thorough and meticulous appeals lawyer on your side can make all the difference in your case.
Appeals attorneys must write persuasive, rule-compliant briefs that persuade the appeals court to reverse or change a lower court’s decision. But it’s not enough to simply follow a rigid, prescribed format; you also have to think creatively and persuasively about how to present your case.
Appellate judges read thousands of briefs each month. They are busy, and they need a clear sense of your overall theory of how to approach the appeal.
One of the most common forms of ineffective appellate brief is the cut-and-paste, snippet-and-quote filing: the appellant takes a series of potshots at trial court precedent, without advancing an overall pattern for how to apply the law to a particular set of facts.
Moreover, the tone of your brief can make an important difference in how the judges take it. A brief that is overly self-righteous or that carries the impression of being too much for the judge to understand or digest can make your argument look weak.
Appeals Oral Arguments
Appeals attorneys often present their arguments in an oral setting. This is an important part of the appeals process because, unlike trial court arguments, appellate oral arguments do not have a fixed time frame in which to argue.
Consequently, an attorney must be skilled at distilling the most important issues into relatively short arguments. This can make the difference between winning or losing a case.
During an oral argument, each party in a case takes turns to speak directly to the judge or judges with an equal amount of time allotted. Generally, the first person to present an argument is the appellant (the party who filed the appeal). After that, the appellee may have an opportunity to rebut.
The appeals procedure is the process by which a party who is dissatisfied with a decision made in a lower court can challenge that decision in a higher court. An appeal can be filed for a variety of reasons, including errors of law, fact, procedure or due process.
Appeals are decided by panels of judges working together to determine whether the trial court made an error that should have resulted in a different outcome. The parties, known as appellants and respondents, present their arguments on papers, and at a brief oral argument, to show that the trial court committed an error that requires reversal.
Once an appeal is entered, the lower court must collect case materials and send them to the Appeals Court. It also must order a transcript of the proceedings relevant to the appeal, which may be a significant expense.
Frequently Asked Questions (Faqs)
Q: What is an appeals attorney?
An appeals attorney is a lawyer who specializes in representing clients in the appeals process. They review the lower court’s record, identify legal errors or issues, and make legal arguments to a higher court to reverse or modify the lower court’s decision.
Q: What types of cases do appeals attorneys handle?
Appeals attorneys can handle a variety of cases, including civil and criminal cases, as well as cases related to administrative law, employment law, and more.
Q: What is the appeals process?
The appeals process involves filing a notice of appeal with the appropriate court and submitting a brief outlining the legal arguments in the case. The parties may also have the opportunity to participate in an appellate oral argument. The appeals court will then review the record of the lower court and issue a written decision.
Q: When should I hire an appeals attorney?
It is important to consider hiring an appeals attorney if you have received an unfavorable decision in a lower court and wish to appeal that decision. It is also a good idea to consult with an appeals attorney early on in the case, as they can help identify potential legal issues and develop strategies for addressing them.
Q: What qualifications should I look for in an appeals attorney?
When looking for an appeals attorney, it is important to consider their experience and expertise in handling appeals cases, as well as their track record of success. It is also important to find an attorney who communicates effectively and who you feel comfortable working with.