Understanding the Appeals Process

A judgment against you in a trial court doesn’t have to be the end of the road. An appeal can be challenged against a judgment, decree, or order before a superior court. But the appeal must pass through several steps. Here, we discuss the major steps for the appeals process.

Hiring an Appellate Attorney

Not all judgments are worth appealing. Too many litigants make the mistake of filing an appeal before hiring an appeal lawyer. Sometimes, you should wait before appealing, or you will lose your best chance of reversing the initial judgment.

A trial lawyer may not be the best person to manage your appeal. Being unfamiliar with the appellate process, the trial lawyer may not know the best ways to secure your appellate rights.

Also, some errors of judgments must be appealed through a motion of rehearing so that there’s a chance for the trial court to rule on the argument. If you do not bring up the issue during the motion of rehearing, you might lose the opportunity to appeal. But a motion of rehearing could extend the time it takes to file an appeal. A good appeal lawyer knows which motion is appropriate for your situation.

Filing the Notice of Appeal

Filing a notice of appeal may seem simple and straightforward. However, without the expertise of a knowledgeable appeal lawyer, you could end up risking your chances of winning. They have a solid understanding of what makes a case appealable. An experienced appeal lawyer understands the difference between a summary judgment, a final order of summary judgment, and an order granting summary judgment.

Record of Appeal

An appellate lawyer takes care when reviewing the judgment docket and the appealed order. The attorney then sits with the trial court clerk to check what needs to be included in the record. Sometimes, the trial court clerks could miss important documents in the standard filings or leave out the required filings altogether. Appeal lawyers ensure that the transcripts of relevant hearings are included because, in some cases, a lack of transcript could prevent appellate review.

Writing the Appeal

Writing an appellate brief isn’t easy. The lawyer must understand that not all errors are created equal, and some could work in your favor while others don’t matter much. The lawyer needs to choose errors that have the potential to change the outcome of the case. An appellate attorney can review your judgment to know what to appeal. The brief must be well-researched, persuasive, and concise.

Oral Argument

During an oral argument, the appellate judge can ask questions they may have about the case. They could seek clarity on the facts of the case, any case laws that have been cited, or public policy issues that have been raised. A good appeal lawyer does not evade the judge’s questions but answers them directly and honestly.

Are you looking for experienced appellate attorneys? Call 888-233-8895 to discuss your appellate case.


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