Are you considering appealing a criminal conviction, adverse civil judgment, or unfavorable family law verdict in Washington? You have a limited amount of time to initiate your case. The appeals process starts with the filing of a legal document called a Notice of Appeal. At The Appellate Law Firm, our firm specializes in criminal, civil, and family law appeals. We are committed to providing knowledge and resources to our clients. Within this article, our Washington appellate law attorneys provide a guide to filing a Notice of Appeal in Washington State. 

What is a Notice of Appeal?

As simply described by the Washington State Courts, a Notice of Appeal is a legal document that officially informs other interested parties of your intent to request a formal review of a lower court’s order. There is a strict deadline to file a Notice of Appeal. In Washington, parties typically only have 30 days after the entry of a decision by a trial court to file a Notice of Appeal. This legal document must meet Washington State standards. Specifically, a Notice of Appeal should include the following: 

  • A formal title indicating that it is a Notice of Appeal; 
  • A clear indication as to which party is filing the appeal; 
  • The decision (or part of the decision) that is being reviewed; and
  • The name of the appellate court where the appeal will be heard.  

The Steps for Filing a Notice of Appeal in Washington State

It should be clear that a Notice of Appeal is a very important step in the process. It is required. You cannot proceed with your appeal unless you file a timely Notice of Appeal. How do you actually go about filing a Notice of Appeal in Washington State? Here is an overview of the steps that are required when filing a Notice of Appeal: 

  • Determine if an Appeal is Warranted: You should start the appeals process by determining if an appeal is warranted in your case. As there is a strict deadline, it is crucial that you make this decision quickly. It is best to consult with an appellate lawyer. 
  • Prepare a Notice that Meets Washington Requirements: Next, you and your attorney should prepare a Notice of Appeal that meets all of the requirements set forth by Washington State law. 
  • Attach a Copy of the Appealable Order or Judgment: You need to attach a copy of the appellate order or the appealable judgment to your Notice of Appeal. Both documents should be provided. 
  • Serve the Notice on Counterparty: Your Notice of Appeal should be properly served on the counterparty in the case—either the prosecutor in a criminal case or the other side in a civil legal matter. 
  • File the Notice of Appeal With the Trial Court: Finally, the Notice of Appeal itself should be filed with the trial court that entered the order or rendered the judgment. 

Filing a Notice of Appeal is the First Step—You Need a Strong Appellate Brief 

While preparing a filing a Notice of Appeal is a critically important step in the legal process, it is ultimately a procedural matter. You will not make your case through your Notice of Appeal. Instead, a proper filing of a Notice of Appeal is a mandatory part of a criminal appeal or a civil appeal in Washington State.

Your appeal itself will be primarily made through your appellate brief. The Washington State Bar Association describes an appellate brief as the document through which you must raise and establish your legal argument for why the appellate court should rule in your favor on appeal. An appellate brief should always be drafted by an experienced Washington appeals attorney. 

Contact Our Washington Appellate Lawyer Today

At The Appellate Law Firm, our Washington appellate lawyers are skilled and experienced. If you have specific questions or concerns about filing a Notice of Appeal in Washington, our legal team is here as a resource. Contact our legal team today for a completely private initial appointment with an attorney. We handle criminal and civil appeals throughout Washington State, including Seattle, Bellevue, Everett, Renton, Tacoma, Federal Way, Vancouver, Yakima, and Spokane. 

Share Post

Contact Our Office Today

Do you or a loved one have a trial case that you wish to appeal? If so, call the office or contact us at The Appellate Law Firm today to schedule a free consultation of your case and learn more about how to increase your chances of success with your appellate case.

Contact us