Do you receive an adverse ruling in a trial? You may still have legal options available through the appeals process. This raises an important question: Are you allowed to file an appeal without hiring an appellate lawyer? Legally speaking, the answer is ‘yes’—but, in practice, doing so is not recommended. Appellate law is complicated. Here, you will find an overview of your rights and the high risks associated with filing an appeal without an experienced appellate law attorney.
You are Not Required to Hire an Attorney (But You Should)
The American legal system does not require competent to hire an attorney. Most people have the technical authority to act as their own representative in court. This is known as a pro se case. As explained by the Cornell Legal Information Institute, a pro se litigant is one who “proceeds without legal counsel.” Of course, just because you can act as your own lawyer does not make it a good idea. Indeed, even trained lawyers typically hire an independent attorney to represent them if they are involved in a criminal, civil, or family law case.
Trial Lawyers Generally Lack the Appellate Law Experience
You may be wondering if you can simply retain your trial lawyer for an appeal. In many circumstances, it is permissible to do so. However, it is often a serious mistake. The simple reality is that there are significant legal and procedural differences between a trial and an appeal. Few trial attorneys have much appellate law experience. An appeal always takes time, energy, and money. If a case is worth appealing, it is worth hiring a dedicated appellate lawyer.
You Can Rely on an Appellate Attorney for Proper Representation
Not every adverse decision is worth an appeal. Prevailing in an appeal can be difficult. According to data from the United States Federal Courts, somewhere between 5% and 20% of appeals are successful, varying based on the type of case. There are consequences associated with not hiring the right attorney: Without an appellate lawyer you are more likely to waste money and less likely to get a favorable outcome. If you are considering an appeal, it is imperative that you have an experienced advocate in your corner. Among other things, an appellate lawyer will:
- Help you determine if an appeal is a viable option in your case;
- Ensure that you preserve any grounds for appeal;
- File a notice of appeal and prepare a strong argument; and
- Take whatever legal action is required to help secure the best possible outcome.
Schedule a Confidential Consultation with an Experienced Appellate Lawyer
At The Appellate Law Firm, we specialize criminal and civil appeals. Do not try to navigate a complex federal or state appeal on your own. Professional guidance is available. If you want more information about the appeals process, we are more than ready to help. Give us a call or contact us online for a fully confidential consultation. Our appellate lawyers provide representation in a number of jurisdictions, including federal courts, California courts, and Washington State courts.