If you've found yourself dissatisfied with a recent court decision that didn't go in your favor, you may be mulling over your options for appeal. Although this process can introduce additional cost and uncertainty into the process, it can also help you avoid liability (as a civil defendant) or achieve a greater recovery (as a plaintiff) if the appellate court rules in your favor. What should you do to get started? Read on to learn more about some of the factors that may weigh on your decision to appeal a lower court's ruling and what you'll want to consider when selecting a law firm to assist you with the appellate process.
When may an appeal be appropriate?
Deciding whether to appeal can largely depend on the facts of your case and the law of your jurisdiction. Trial courts generally have expansive discretion to rule on things like the weight and admissibility of evidence, so seeking a decision to overturn a piece of evidence or an instruction given to the jury may be an uphill battle unless you have clear evidence that the trial court erred. On the other hand, some results may clearly point to an abuse of the trial court's discretion, a matter that may be overturned on appeal.
What should you consider when selecting a firm to handle your appeal?
In some cases, your matter may involve some complicated facts or a special issue of law that makes it most appropriate for the firm that handled your trial case to continue to represent you in the appeal. However, not all trial firms handle appellate matters, and you may want to choose an attorney who specializes in appeals to ensure that all the procedural and logistical guidelines are followed.
Your first step may often be to ask your current attorney for a reference. Often, attorneys and law firms have referral agreements with each other that can ensure that clients are directed to the best person to handle their case.
In other situations, you may have some luck by doing a bit of research into similar types of cases that have been accepted for transfer by your state's appellate court or the federal district court to see who is representing the appealing party. Often, the same few law firms or attorneys will tackle the majority of appeals of personal injury matters, insurance defense cases, or medical malpractice lawsuits. Looking at the outcome of similarly-postured cases can give you a good idea of whether your chosen attorney is an expert in the field and can competently represent you as you go forward.
For more information, contact a firm such as Madden Law Firm The.