What Is An Appeal

What Is An Appeal

What Is An Appeal?

The appellate court reviews the trial court transcript and legal filings along with written arguments presented by the appellant and appellee (who is usually the party who won at trial and is responding to the appeal). Sometimes the appellate court asks parties to appear in person for oral arguments. But an appeal is not a retrial. Nothing new can be added to the record. There is generally no new evidence, nor witnesses testifying.

During the appeal process, judges review the case for legal mistakes that may have improperly influenced the lower court’s decision. If the higher court finds enough proof of legal mistakes—such as improper exclusion or inclusion of evidence, incorrect jury instructions or ineffective legal representation—then the higher court may overrule the trial court’s decision.

In a criminal defense appeal, the appellate judges can reverse a conviction, typically ordering a new trial, but sometimes discharging the defendant entirely. In a civil appeal, the judges may reverse the lower court’s judgement or reduce a monetary damage award.

How Does the Appeal Process Work?

In the appeal process, the clock starts ticking as soon as a trial court enters a judgement. Typically, an appellant has only 30 days from that moment to file their Notice of Appeal. That’s when it’s critical to engage experienced attorney Nathan Swanson. He’ll meet with you or your loved one for free to learn about the case. Then, once you hire him, he’ll determine the best grounds for an appeal. From there, the process typically goes like this:

1. Reviewing the record.

Nathan Swanson scours the record of the case. He researches the court files, trial transcripts, exhibits and case law looking for errors made during trial. These help him determine grounds for appeal.

2. Writing and filing the appellate brief.

He then writes and files a comprehensive brief. This appellate brief thoroughly explains all the legal arguments he is making on your or your loved one’s behalf. This written brief will persuade judges to rule in your or your loved one’s favor.

3. Filing a reply to an opposing brief.

At this point, the opposing party’s attorney typically files an opposing brief. Then Nathan Swanson files a reply brief in response to the opposing brief.

4. Performing oral arguments.

Sometimes appellate judges request oral arguments from the attorneys. Oral arguments are Nathan Swanson’s strong suit. He relishes an opportunity to deliver well-structured oral arguments in front of panels of judges.

5. Assigning the opinion.

Finally, the appellate judges deliver their opinion on whether to affirm or reverse the trial court’s decision.

Contact Nathan Swanson Today

In the appeals process, time is of the essence, and so is experience. You need a highly qualified appeal lawyer to correct past mistakes and get you a fair shake. Award-winning lawyer Nathan Swanson is your go-to appellate attorney to help set the record straight. Contact him today for a free consultation.

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