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Understanding The Role Of An Appellate Attorney

If you've ever watched an episode of Law & Order, you probably feel like you have a good idea of how the legal process works. There's a plaintiff (usually the State) and a defendant (the person who has allegedly committed a crime against the plaintiff). Both parties typically have legal representation to guide them through the process and ensure that their rights are protected during the trial. The jury (or in some cases, the judge) makes a decision after hearing evidence, and that's the end of the case.

Or is it?

In America, citizens have the right to request that a higher court evaluate a lower court's decision. This means that if you feel that the trial wasn't carried out properly or that the jury was somehow skewed in their evaluation of the evidence, you get a second chance. In order to appeal the decision, however, you must enlist the service of an appellate attorney.

Quatela, Hargraves & Chimeri, PLLC is a full-service law firm that has provided appellate attorney services to many people in the New York area. Contact us if you have a case you'd like to appeal or keep reading to learn more about the appellate process and how it can benefit you.


How Do Appeals Work In New York?

Both civil and most criminal cases are eligible for appeal in the State of New York. Applications to appeal a case must be made within a certain time limit and must comply with the official Rules of Practice set forth by New York State Law. In most cases, the application for appeal must include argument in support of the motion to appeal, a copy of the order or judgement and decision you seek to appeal, and a copy of any order or decision that was reviewed by the Appellate Division. No matter how strong you think these materials may be, it's always possible that your notice of appeal or after leave to appeal may be denied. This is why it's a good idea to enlist the services of an appellate attorney.


Signs You Need An Appellate Attorney

There are a number of situations that can indicate to you that it may be a good idea for you to consult with an appellate attorney. Several of them include:

  1. You Disagree With The Decision Of The Lower Tribunal - If you feel like the other side was victorious because they didn't fully understand the case, your legal representation was inept, or some other complication that resulted in an unfair outcome, you may want to consult with an appellate attorney to see whether or not you'd have a chance in a higher court.
  2. You Believe The Outcome Of The Case Was In Error - There are many cases in which human error results in an inaccurate decision being handed down. This can happen in particularly challenge or confusing cases in which the facts may not have been presented in the right way.
  3. You Won Your Case, And The Other Side Is Appealing The Decision - Those who enlist the service of an appellate lawyer aren't always people who are dissatisfied with the outcome. In some cases, you're the winner of a case but the other side decides to appeal, in which case you have to make sure you have proper legal counsel to guide you through the process.

What Do You Need When Meeting With An Appellate Attorney?

Your first consultation with an appellate attorney will be your chance to show them everything that occurred in your past case and why you have a strong case for appeal. Keep in mind that the appellate attorney you choose is often not the person who provided legal counsel in your initial case. It is sometimes the case that these people are one in the same, but not always. That means they'll need to review the judgement, record of the case, and any other documentation you can provide to help them see how things unfolded. Keep in mind that, "[i]f you are the party who is appealing, the job of your appeals lawyer is to explain to the appeals court why, based upon the information presented to the trial judge, the trial court ruled incorrectly and should be reversed," explains Phoenix attorney Kathi M. Sandweiss. New evidence cannot be introduced during an appeal.


As you can see, appeals are complicated processes that must be executed perfectly in order to be successful. If you want to file an appeal in Massapequa, please don't hesitate to contact us.

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