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What is Appellate Law?

If you take a civil or criminal case to court and receive an unfavorable outcome, you still have legal options for a review of your claims. Appellate law is the process of appealing a verdict unfavorable to you up the chain of courts for review, but it differs significantly from the trial courts. If you wish to appeal a decision, hiring an experienced appellate attorney is your best chance at success. At The Appellate Law Firm the sole focus of our practice is on appeals. For a consultation of your case and to learn more about appellate law, call or contact the office today.

What is Appellate Law

Appellate law is the court process that takes place at the higher levels beyond the trial court. The process of asking a higher court to review all or part of a decision rendered by a lower court or administrative agency is called an appeal, and the lawyers who handle these types of cases are known as appellate attorneys. Appellate law happens at both the state and federal level as well as in civil and criminal law. Most systems have a mid-level appeals court and a high-level supreme court that decisions can be appealed to in a case.

When an unfavorable ruling is rendered by the trial court, an appellate court can review a procedural or substantive issues of law that one side believes may have rendered a different outcome in the case if the trial court’s decision was different. Appellate law accomplishes this through the reading of the record of the lower court, which includes a full transcript of the hearing, evidence exhibits, motions, orders, voir dire, and any other relevant documents to the case. An appellate attorney will file a brief that presents the best arguments for the appeal and be given an opportunity to argue those points in oral argument before the appellate court. The appellate court will then either uphold the lower court’s decision, reverse the decision, or remand the issue back to the lower court.   

What Appellate Law is Not 

It is important to note what appellate law is not. An appeal is not a new trial, and new evidence cannot be presented in appellate law. An appeal does not work like a trial at the lower level, where witnesses are called and evidence submitted to the court, and an appellate attorney specializes in the way that appellate law works at the higher levels of the court system. You may also not get a clear yes or no answer to the question presented in the appellate court. The judges at this level may make a ruling and send your case back down to the trial level to be reviewed using the lens of their decision. For all these reasons, and more, it is critical that you hire an experienced appellate law attorney to handle your case.

Contact an Experienced Appellate Lawyer Today

If you believe that your case merits an appeal in civil or criminal court, The Appellate Law Firm may be able to help. Call the office or contact us today to schedule a consultation of your case.