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Appeals Process

It’s a simple fact that courts do not always make the right decisions. Even when both parties make the effort to argue their cases clearly and procedures are followed, judges reach wrong decisions on the law and in evaluating the facts of a case. The Washington state appellate courts therefore exist for a good reason, which is to evaluate the decisions of trial court judges and reverse them when justice calls for it. Successfully bringing an appeal of a civil court decision in the Washington courts can be complicated and time-intensive, but an experienced Washington civil appeals attorney can guide you through that process to get the justice you deserve. At the Appellate Law Firm, attorney Parker works with clients to appeal faulty decisions made at the trial court level, and he can work with you to determine if you have grounds to appeal your Washington state civil court decision.

Can the Trial Court Decision Be Appealed?

The first question you will need to determine prior to bringing your appeal is whether you are allowed to appeal a trial court’s decision. If you have received a final judgment in a civil lawsuit, then you can appeal that decision. This is true whether you were the plaintiff or the defendant. You can appeal not only the finding of liability (or lack of liability) but also the amount of damages that has been ordered.

Even where there has not been a final decision, there are many types of intermediary decisions handed down by the court which you can immediately appeal without waiting for a final judgment. These can include the granting or denial of a motion. Attorney Parker will examine the decision handed down to determine whether you have the right to appeal it now.

The Grounds For the Appeal

Before you file an appeal, you will also want to determine what grounds exist for the appeal. You must be able to point the appeals court to an error made by the judge in the application of the law or evaluation of the facts. Attorney Parker will work with you to examine the trial record to determine whether sufficient grounds exist for an appeal which will potentially result in a reversal.

Making Your Appeal

Assuming there is an appealable decision and sufficient grounds for appeal, the process for making your appeal is as follows:

  • Filing the Notice of Appeal: A notice of appeal of a trial court decision must be made within 30 days of the decision. This notice lets the court and the opposing party know that you are appealing a decision.
  • Filing of Briefs: Both parties will file briefs with the appellate court laying out their arguments and evidence in favor of or against reversing the trial court. Prior to filing, the appellant should also procure the record on appeal, which usually consists of the clerk’s papers of the filings in the trial court, as well as the reporter’s transcripts of the court hearings that are so reported.
  • Oral Argument: Both parties will then make oral arguments before the appellate court regarding their respective decisions laid out in their briefs and respond to questions posed by the appellate court judges.
  • Decision: Based on the briefs and oral arguments, the appellate court will hand down a decision.

Representation in Your Washington State Civil Appeal

The Washington state civil appeals process was put in place so that you do not have to live with the unfair consequences of a decision or order that is wrong on the law. Corey Evan Parker will make his best efforts to guide you through the appeals process towards the outcome you deserve. You only have a very limited time in which to work with an attorney to prepare and file your appeal, so please feel free to contact Corey Evan Parker today to discuss your Washington state civil appeal.

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