Losing at trial or at a
summary judgment hearing is a frustrating experience. But that frustration can be magnified where a loss is returned even though the law and the facts were on your side. This can happen when the trial court fails to properly apply the law or fails to appreciate the significance of certain evidence. It can also happen when the court or opposing counsel fail to follow the proper procedure, or for numerous other reasons. When this happens, you need attorneys who can recognize if there is a legitimate basis to call upon the authority of the court of appeal to reexamine the case, and who can distill the issue down to its essence and support the appeal with case law research and present the argument clearly to the court. Prompt action is necessary because one only has 30 days to appeal a final judgment.
Alternatively, you may have won at trial or won a summary final judgment and found yourself facing an appeal by your opponent. While preserving a win is a vastly superior position, it is necessary to hire a good appellate lawyer to keep your win intact.
What is an appeal?
After a party loses at the trial court level, or is otherwise dissatisfied with the outcome in the trial court, that party can appeal to a higher court for another look at the case. The appellate court focuses its energy solely on reviewing cases from the trial courts.
However, a party cannot appeal just because they are unhappy with the outcome of the case. There must be a legal question at issue – an error made by the trial judge or opposing counsel concerning the law. An appeal is not a second trial; rather, it is an opportunity to have the appellate court independently review the law and the facts in order to determine if the decision of the trial court is correct.
If you’re considering an appeal, you need an attorney skilled in evaluating the trial court’s decision to determine if an appeal in necessary. After that is decided, you will need an attorney who is experienced in narrowing the issues in order to focus the appellate court’s attention, and can articulate an argument supported by critical case law analysis. Your attorney should also be prepared to appear before the appellate court in oral argument to defend your appeal. After all, the outcome of your appeal could reverse the trial court’s ruling, and could even change the interpretation of the law.
Contact our office today for a free, 30-minute consultation with Alex.
Our firm concentrates on the following appellate practice areas:
- Appeals concerning business litigation disputes
- Appeals concerning real estate litigation disputes
- Appeals concerning homeowner’s and condominium associations
- Appeals concerning foreclosure
- Appeals concerning deficiency cases