Understanding The Appeals Process

Not every case can be appealed. You may not agree with the verdict you have been given. This does not mean you have the right to retry your case or have it heard again.

An attorney must review the case and determine if there is a legal basis for an appeal. This legal basis is usually a material error in the trial.

The number one thing you need to know about an appeal is that it is not a new trial. An appeal is based on the fact that errors were made in the original trial — in the process or the interpretation of the law.

Understand The Terminology

If you are appealing your case you are the appellant or the petitioner. The other party is the appellee or the respondent. An appellant court is also called an appeals court or a court of appeals.

The Actions To Take

The first action to take is to file the appeal. Failure to timely file your notice of appeal will result in losing the right to appeal unless the appeals courts accept your matter on other basis called "writ of certiorari" which are often difficult to obtain.

Typically notices of appeal must be filed in writing with the court.

Your Attorney Will File A Brief.

A brief is a written argument. It lays out both the facts of the case and the legal arguments that cause them to seek a reversal of the original verdict. The opposing side may then file an answering brief, responding to the original brief. A second brief (often referred to as a "Reply Brief") may be required to answer that response.

Deciding The Case On The Brief

In some cases the appeals court makes a ruling based solely on these briefs. Other times they hear oral arguments and then decide.

The appellate court will determine if errors occurred in applying the law at the lower court level. Judgments are generally only reversed if the appellate court finds that there was an error of law.

The appellate court will then issue a written judgment. The appellate court will either affirm the lower court's finding or reverse it. The appeals court could also reverse parts of the trial court's decision while affirming other portions of the trial court's decision.

Call Attorney Bryce D. Neier For Your Appeal

Work with an experienced state and federal appellate lawyer. Call The Law Office of Bryce D. Neier, PLLC, at 800-332-2807. Or fill out this intake form.