Appellate Courts handle cases differently than the proceedings in a lower court. We have outlined the process in another helpful blog, but there are some other questions people often ask when they contemplate filing an appeal. Typical questions we hear include:
Do we retry the case in Appeals Court?
Appeals are not retrials. Instead, three judges review the existing trial records and evidence. Both sides should also file briefs about why the lower court’s decision is incorrect or correct.
What are some common reasons for appealing a decision?
There are many reasons to appeal a lower court ruling. Common examples include:
- The judge made errors that affected the trial’s outcome.
- The judge abused their discretion.
- The decision was justified using insufficient evidence.
- The judge employed an unconstitutional application of the law.
How do you win an appeal?
The appellee must demonstrate that the lower court made a legal error or abused its discretion. The appellee must further prove that the mistakes affected the case’s outcome, causing harm in the process.
Is it easy to appeal a case?
It is not. Proving that the lower court made a mistake is often difficult. There must be concrete proof to overturn a decision. Moreover, the appeals process is complex and requires a thorough understanding of the law and legal procedures specific to the appeals process.
Is someone still guilty if they appeal?
The defendant remains guilty if the Appellate Court upholds the lower court decision or remands it back to the lower court. If the higher court reverses a lower court decision, they may find the error in the lower court so egregious that the appellee is no longer guilty.
Do the parties have a right to appeal a decision if they are unhappy with the outcome?
You have the right to an appeal, but you cannot appeal a court’s decision simply because you are unhappy with the outcome. There must be legal grounds.
How much does it cost to file an appeal?
It costs a $150 filing fee and additional fees an attorney may bill.
This is specialized work
The attorney who handled the case in the lower court may not be the right person for the job, so it is common to switch attorneys when filing an appeal because it requires a different skillset and experiences specific to the appeals process.