Appeals

Appeals

If you lose your case in state or federal court, in either a civil or criminal case, you can ask a higher court to review the decision to see if any reversible errors were made. In a criminal case, the prosecution may not appeal an acquittal.

There are rules established by each court that must be followed. These concern things like how much time you have to file your notice of appeal, when your opening brief must be filed, how many pages long the brief can be and many other procedural rules that do not affect the substance of your appeal.

Brief Writing

The appeals court does not just pick up your file and review the case. An appeals attorney must review the trial transcript and all motion hearings and documents on file in the lower court. At Bolton Law, we then prepare a brief that we file with the appeals court. In that brief, we present issues to the appeals court where we believe based on the law, the trial court erred. This is almost always based on the court having erroneously admitted evidence that prejudiced your case, or erroneously denied you the opportunity to present evidence that would have helped your case.

We not only have to convince the appeals court that an error was made, we have to convince it that the error was not “harmless.” We must prove that the error resulted in you having a trial that was so unfair, you either need a new trial, or the criminal charges or civil case needs to be dismissed.

Oral Arguments

Appellate courts may schedule an oral argument or decide the case on the merits of the briefs. If an oral argument is scheduled, only the attorneys are required to attend. The members of the court panel ask questions of the attorneys in order to clarify the issues and give the attorneys one last chance to argue why you should win your appeal. At Bolton Law, we understand how important appeals are. Contact us to discuss your case. Together, we can decide if an appeal is in your best interest.