Whether dealing with a civil or criminal trial, you need to hire an experienced attorney. The same is true when filing an appeal, although it might be even more critical, especially if you lost in a criminal case. After all, an appeal is your final opportunity to get a higher court to reverse the decision reached in the initial case or grant you a new trial.
If you want to appeal the decision reached in your trial, there are specific benefits of working with an experienced appellate attorney.
- Specialized Skills – Trial attorneys and appellate attorneys are different. Those that file appeals on behalf of their clients have a unique set of skills. Not only can they write a persuading brief, but they also use argue why their client’s case deserves to get reviewed.
- Hitting Deadlines – Based on the jurisdiction as well as the level of the appeals court, an attorney must hit hard deadlines. Otherwise, you could lose the chance to get your case dismissed or retried. A reputable attorney hits the deadlines, which vary for criminal and civil cases as well as state and federal courts.
- Appeal’s Procedure – The right attorney will also know the procedure required for the different courts. Even at the state level, these are typically complex. The attorney has to follow every instruction since one small misstep could prove disastrous. As an example, the attorney must use the appropriate page margins, number of words, and number of pages when writing the brief. If not, it could get rejected.
- Expanding Court Records – Especially when it comes to criminal trials, there are times when legal issues do not get raised. The attorney that you hire must know the proper way to expand the lower court records, making it possible to argue any additional problems during the appeals process.
- Identifying Problems – Although every role of an appeals attorney is essential, one of the most critical has to do with recognizing problems. For this, the right attorney will carefully review the transcripts from your trial, looking for anything that would bolster your chance to win an appeal.
- Presenting Critical Issues – When going over court transcripts, there is a good chance that your attorney will spot several things that raise concerns. However, that does not automatically mean they should all get presented to the appeals court. Instead, an experienced attorney will choose the most critical issues – those that give you the best chance of a positive outcome.
- Motion Practice – The motion practice at the appellate level is extensive, which is why you need an attorney who can handle it and, if possible, avoid it.
- Heading to the US Supreme Court – If the state or federal level appeals court denies a reversal or retrial, you want an attorney in your corner who feels 100 percent confident about taking your case to the US Supreme Court, which has a unique and more complex set of procedural rules and regulations. The Supreme Court does not hear every case presented. Therefore, your attorney must show a compelling reason why your case should get reviewed.