Sometimes a trial results in an unjust outcome because the court made a legal error, or failed to follow applicable rules in the trial. The remedy in such circumstances is to seek an appeal of the trial court’s finding.
Nazette, Marner, Nathanson & Shea, L.L.P. offers the services of attorneys who are skilled not just in trial practice, but in appellate practice as well. Appellate work differs significantly from trial practice. An appeal is not a second chance at trial; the appellate court will accept the facts that the trial court determined to be true. The focus on appeal is on ensuring that the trial was fair, and that the correct law was applied to the case.
Skills of an Appellate Attorney
Appellate attorneys must have a broad knowledge of the law that applies to their cases, so that they can determine if the lower court correctly applied the law. They must be skilled in selecting issues to appeal, knowing the realistic chances of success of each. Experienced appellate attorneys know better than to select weak issues or take a scattershot approach, making multiple arguments in the hopes that one will succeed.
In addition to carefully selecting issues for appeals, our attorneys are knowledgeable about appellate standards of review, or how much deference appellate judges must pay to the trial court on a particular issue. Some types of rulings are harder to overturn than others, and our attorneys are mindful of that when preparing appeals.
Our attorneys are experienced in oral argument before appellate courts. Equally important, however, is that they are meticulous legal researchers and writers. This is critical because the written brief precedes oral argument and forms the appellate court’s first impression of the case. When well-written, it can offer the court the justification it needs to rule in the client’s favor.
Deciding Whether to Appeal
Not all cases that end unfavorably are likely to be successful on appeal. We carefully review prospective appellate cases. Our attorneys honestly and clearly discuss the merits of a given case with clients and offer straightforward opinions about whether an appeal would be worthwhile. Ultimately, it is the client’s choice. If the client wishes to appeal, we will pursue it vigorously to its conclusion.
We offer clients effective appellate representation in all manner of civil cases, including:
- Family law matters, including property division and child custody decisions
- Personal injury cases, including product liability, medical malpractice, and premises liability
- Worker’s Compensation rulings
- Immigration decisions
- Business litigation
- Probate decisions
- Real estate litigation
- Social Security decisions
- Other civil litigation matters
An unjust criminal conviction may negatively affect every aspect of one’s life. Our appellate attorneys are skilled in reviewing criminal cases for trial court errors. Under some circumstances, a new trial may be warranted. Our firm handles appeals for all levels of criminal cases.
The appeals process involves strict timetables, including time limits on how quickly after trial an appeal must be sought. Clients are urged not to delay in bringing a prospective appeal to our offices for review.
Call our office in Cedar Rapids at (319) 366-1000 to schedule your initial consultation and learn how we can help.