Did you receive an adverse decision in a civil, family, or criminal case? You are not out of legal options. You can appeal. That being said, raising a successful appeal can be challenging. According to an analysis of tens of thousands of appellate cases cited by the United States Courts, between 5% and 15% of appeals are successful, depending on the specific type of appeal.
It is crucial that you know how to build a strong and comprehensive case to win on appeal. At The Appellate Law Firm, we specialize in protecting the rights and interests of our clients in civil appeals, family law appeals, and criminal appeals. In this article, our appellate lawyers highlight five key strategies that will help you win an appeal in court.
#1: Be Proactive: Initiate an Appeal Immediately After Receiving an Adverse Ruling
Appeals are subject to strict deadlines. One of the biggest mistakes that you can make in the appeals process is waiting too long to take action. How much time you will have to initiate your appeal—usually done through the filing of a document called a Notice of Appeal—depends on several factors, including your state and the type of case. Regardless, it is important to start the appeals process as soon as possible to avoid losing your right to appeal. This means that you should take action as soon as you receive an adverse ruling, even if you do not have all the facts and details gathered yet. You can always supplement your appeal with additional information later. The key is to get the process started so that you do not run out of time.
#2: Consult With an Appellate Lawyer as Soon as Possible
Appellate law is a specialized area of law. Whether you are navigating a civil appeal, family court appeal, or criminal appeal, there are unique rules, regulations, and procedures that will apply to the case. It is imperative that you are represented by an attorney who has appellate law experience. The sooner you have an experienced appellate lawyer by your side, the better position you will be in to challenge an adverse decision and seek justice.
#3: Determine, Preserve, and Raise All Grounds for Appeal
The American Bar Association (ABA) explains that an appeal is neither a new trial nor a re-trial. Quite the contrary, an appellate court is restricted largely to only reviewing issues that were already raised in the “record.” Appeals courts generally do not accept new evidence nor do they hear new testimony. Instead, the appellate process exists to remedy serious procedural or legal errors. For parties considering filing an appeal, it is crucial that they understand the process. You need to determine, preserve, and raise all possible grounds for appeal.
#4: Submit a Persuasive, Well-Supported Appellate Brief
The appellate law process is handled primarily on paper. For this reason, it is crucial that any party seeking to win on appeal submits a persuasive, comprehensive, and well-supported appellate brief. As simply described by the Judicial Branch of California, an appellate brief is a “written description of the facts in the case, the law that applies, and the party’s argument about the issues on appeal.” It is your opportunity to make your case on appeal. A strong appellate brief could be the difference between winning and losing your case on appeal.
#5: Know the Possible Outcome and Be Ready to React
What happens if you successfully appeal a criminal, civil, or family law case? The answer depends on many different factors. Indeed, there can be several different outcomes for a successful appeal. You need to be ready to react to any potential outcome. The appellate court may affirm the decision of the lower court (unsuccessful appeal), and you may or may not have additional options. The court may reverse and remand the decision (successful appeal), which means that the case will proceed to the next steps. An appellate lawyer can help you plan all possible outcomes.
Schedule a Confidential Consultation With a Top Appellate Law Attorney
At The Appellate Law Firm, we are dedicated to fighting for justice for our clients. With experience handling criminal appeals, civil appeals, and family appeals, our attorneys have the professional expertise that you can trust. Contact us today to set up a fully private initial legal consultation. Our firm represents clients in appellate law matters in Washington, California, Oregon, Texas, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, and Georgia.