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Brownstone Law

How Does the Appeal Procedure Work?

In the United States’ legal system, a case is first tried in a trial court. Once a ruling has been issued, parties to the case can appeal this ruling. Usually, it’s the losing party that files an appeal. To get the appeals process in motion, an appellate lawyer must be hired. They’ll know where the appeal should be filed, and they could even take a case all the way to the Supreme Court if such is necessary.

An appellate attorneys work is certainly not easy. They have to seek out errors that were made at the trial court level, as errors could cause the appellate court to vacate the judgment given by the trial court. To understand more about how the appeal process works from start to finish, read on.

Step 1: Hire an Appellate Attorney

If you decide to appeal, the first step is to hire an appellate attorney. Not all lawyers practice appellate law, and attorneys unfamiliar with appellate procedure may help you very little. You must hire an attorney who has successfully handled appeals.

Also, you need to know that an appellate court will only consider arguments that were debated in the trial court. Therefore, you’ll need to file a motion for rehearing certain types of errors before appealing. An experienced appellate attorney will be an asset at this stage, and with their guidance you’ll have a better chance of getting the trial court’s ruling vacated.

Step 2: Filing the Appeal

Once you’ve hired an appellate attorney, the next step is to file the appeal. Note that there are specific deadlines you must abide by when filing an appeal. If you miss these deadlines, an appellate court will not take your case. If you’re confused about what’s being asked of you, a knowledgeable attorney can help you understand appellate lingo and regulations.

Step 3: Preparing for the Appeal During the Trial

Keep in mind that an appeal is NOT a new trial. Appellate courts do not accept new evidence, nor do they take testimonies. An appellate court bases its judgement on the documents, evidence, and testimonies that were submitted in the trial court. For this reason, a party to a case should submit as much relevant evidence as possible, as this way nothing is left out for the appeal process.

The trial court clerk will create the record based on the docket and send this to the appellate court. A qualified appellate attorney can help the clerk ensure no information is left out, again increasing the chances that a favorable decision is delivered.

Step 4: Writing the Appeal

The appellate attorney writes the appellate brief to the appellate court. This is where they explain why the trial court’s decision should be reversed. The appellate attorney will work with your trial court attorney to find any errors or mistakes in the judgement. An appellate attorney’s research and writing skills will play a major role here.

Step 5: Presenting the Oral Arguments

The oral arguments is the final step in the appeal process. A qualified appellate attorney who knows the law inside and out will present your arguments to the appellate judges. Based on the arguments, the judges can either reverse the trial court’s decision or uphold it.

When you go to file an appeal, having a skilled appeal attorney is essential. This is why you should consult top appellate lawyers before you get the appeal process in motion. An attorney who specializes in appellate law has a much better shot of securing a successful appeal for their client.

Federal Appeal Lawyers In Antitrust
Author Name
Robert L Sirianni
(888) 233-8895
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