If you believe that the decision reached in your case was the result of serious legal errors, you may consider appealing the decision. Essentially, this is a request to a higher court to review your case with the possibility of reversing the lower court’s decision.
Here are two tips that can help you increase your odds of getting a favorable outcome during your appeal.
Understand what an appeal is
Many incorrectly assume that you may file an appeal simply when you don’t like or don’t agree with the court’s final decision. However, this is not the case. The American Bar Association emphasizes that an appeal is not a retrial or even a new trial — rather, appeals are typically rooted in arguments stating that errors within the trial process led to the final decision. The appellate court typically does not consider any new evidence. Instead, they will consider written arguments, and occasionally oral arguments, to review what happened in the lower court and whether the application or interpretation of the law was erroneous.
File your appeal in time
If you are eligible to file an appeal, the timeline to do so may vary on where the decision took place, as well as other factors. While the lower court’s decision may leave you shocked and confused, it is important that you collect yourself and begin the appeals process as soon as possible. This will start with filing a notice of appeal as the appellant. The appellant must then file a brief, or a written argument, within a specified time period.
The appeals process can be complex and confusing. If you wish to appeal the court’s decision, it is important to discuss the circumstances and options to appeal immediately with an attorney.