Should You File an Appeal?

The rendering of a verdict or judgment doesn’t always mark the end of a case. It’s common for parties to file an appeal when the outcome isn’t favorable to them, but appeals are notoriously difficult to argue successfully. If you decide to appeal your case, it’s essential to consult a law office with a longstanding track record of appellate law successes.

Evaluating the Merits of an Appeal

Due to the complexities of appellate law and appeals court procedures, it’s necessary to bring your case to a lawyer with the right experience. Your lawyer will review your case and the trial transcripts before giving you his or her opinion about the merits of an appeal. You should understand that an appeals court will not generally accept new evidence or new witness testimony. The role of the appeals court is to determine whether a material error occurred during the original trial. In other words, an appellate judge is only concerned with whether there was an incorrect application of the law or whether procedures were not properly followed. An appeals court may only allow new evidence to be introduced if that evidence was improperly excluded during the original trial. The legal error must be prejudicial. That is, it must have had a substantive effect on the outcome of the case.

Understanding the Need for a Prior Objection

Generally, an appeals court will only consider issues that had already been raised during the original trial. For example, if a lawyer fails to object to hearsay testimony during the first trial, then he or she cannot use the lack of an objection as grounds to file an appeal.

Knowing the Possibility of a Cross-Appeal

Appeals can be a long, arduous process. Before deciding whether to file an appeal, you should be aware that the opposing counsel may attempt a cross-appeal. In other words, the opposing lawyer may try to obtain reversals on findings that had been favorable to you during the original trial.

The Law Offices of Jon Webster features seasoned litigators with the in-depth knowledge and experience necessary to craft successful appeal strategies. Our law office in Concord, CA, has argued appeals pertaining to constitutional and employment matters. Contact us today at (925) 609-7600 to retain our superior legal services.

Categories: Appellate


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