Quatela Chimeri, PLLC


Do you feel like you received an unjust ruling in your civil or family court case? Do you know that something went wrong, so that the trial went against you? Do you worry about your children because the court ruled unconstitutionally?

There is some belief that once a case goes to court, the ruling from the trial is final. In some instances, this may be the case, in others, there is the option to appeal the ruling. It's important to be able to recognize when you need an appeals lawyer to handle your case.

What is an appeal?

An appeal is the process in which a court case can be readdressed due to concerns with the trial's procedure or potential unconstitutionality of the judge's decision for any type of legal case.

It's important to note that, "an appeal is not a retrial or a new trial of the case. The appeals courts do not usually consider new witnesses or new evidence. Appeals in either civil or criminal cases are usually based on arguments that there were errors in the trial's procedure or errors in the judge's interpretation of the law," according to the American Bar Association.

An appeal can only be petitioned for by specific parties in the case based on the type of case being held. For example, the defendant or plaintiff may appeal a civil case but only the defendant can appeal a criminal case if they lose.

Why do would you need a lawyer that specializes in appeals?

It's important to have an appeals lawyer that specializes in the area of your case if you choose to appeal your initial court ruling. This is because not all lawyers have experience in the appeals process and with the court of appeals for the local circuit. You want to know that when your case is appealed, that you work with someone extremely experienced in the appellate process and the intricate details of the law.

What is the appellate court process?

Working with an appeals lawyer will help guide you through the appellate process during your particular case; however, here is a brief summary of what to expect the process to look like.

Once your initial case has been decided, it's important to note that there are typically time restrictions in which you can file an appeal. The appellant or petitioner, which is the party filing the appeal, needs to submit the notice of appeal. This starts the process and the clock for the next step. A brief needs to be filed by the petitioner within a set time frame. The American Bar Association describe a brief as, " a written argument containing that side's view of the facts and the legal arguments upon which they rely in seeking a reversal of the trial court." The respondent can then provide a written reply, and the petitioner another brief after that.

This eventually leads to oral arguments in front of a panel of judges as to why the initial ruling was incorrect. In the end, the appeal is either upheld or reversed. If a case is reversed, then the case is sent back to a lower court with a course of action that should be followed.

Contact Quatela, Hargraves, & Chimeri, PLLC if you wish to take action and appeal the decision from your court case. We'd love to consult with you!

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Quatela Chimeri PLLC
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