Appellate attorneys are lawyers who have taken time to study and understand the requirements and process of appealing a judgment. They fully understand what grounds appeals can be based on and they know how to find these grounds and also how to efficiently present them before the appellate judges to get the best of outcomes for their clients.
These outcomes could be the overturning of a judgment given by a lower court or the defense of a judgment from a lower court against an appeal instituted by the other party. This may also be to seek a reversal of the decisions of an administrative hearing.
These types of lawyers do not directly participate in the trial process except maybe in anticipation of a possible progression to the appellate court. They will usually have a good knowledge of trial processes as this will be necessary if they will be able to spot grounds on which they can base their appeal.
They must therefore have strong research skills to be able to painstakingly go through the records of the trial process and be able to figure out how best to approach this next stage of the court process.
Importance of Appeals
There are certain benefits that can come from appealing a court judgment or the decision of an administrative hearing. The first one obviously is a having the decision of a lower court reversed or a retrial ordered.
A more profound outcome that this process can yield is the setting of a legal precedence. A legal precedence is almost like a law because the decision of the appellate court can be cited in future cases and judgments delivered based on these. Should the case culminate in a ruling by the Supreme Court, it becomes law.
Why You May Require the Services of One
There are different instances where you may desire to have a ruling on your case taken to an appellate court. We already know about many of such instances.
If for example you are involved in a criminal case and as the defendant, a judgment is given and you are found guilty and then sentenced, you may desire to either contest the guilty verdict or you could contest the weight of the sentencing.
The lawyer handling your appeal must be able to show grounds upon which the appellate court should consider over-turning the verdict or invalidating the sentence handed down for the crime committed. In civil matters, you may also wish to contest the verdict or the damages awarded.
Criminal cases are usually between the state and the accused. Both parties can appeal the outcome of the trial. The same holds true for civil cases. The only difference with civil cases is that you can be on either side of the fence. That is you can be the accused or the complainant.
Other than being the one to file an appeal, you could also need an appellant attorney to help you fight an appeal filed by either the government in a criminal case or any other party in a civil case.
Choosing an Appellate Attorney
There are a few things you may want to consider when choosing an appellate attorney to help you with your appeal process. We will quickly look at a few of these.
Experience and Expertise
This is obviously a very important consideration factor. You need someone who has a great deal of experience in the appeal process as a whole and specifically in the area of your case. If for example yours is a criminal case, you need someone who specializes in criminal appeals. Same goes for if it is a civil case.
A lot of attorney’s practice across state lines. If your case is in California, it only makes sense that you find an attorney that practices within this jurisdiction and can do so with great ease.
If you can, find out their success rate. How many appeals have they won and how many have they lost.
Reputation among Peers
Talk with lawyers and try to find out what they think of some of the lawyers or firms you are considering. If other lawyers don’t think highly of them, you may want to have a rethink.
It all boils down to money. Before going all in, ensure that what you are being asked to pay is commensurate with the services that will be rendered. You may also want to sample a number of firms before settling with one.
If you do not know how to go about finding the right appellate attorney, you should first try asking for a referral. If you cannot get one this way, turn to the internet and search for appellate attorneys in your area. You will be sure to find some great recommendations to consider.