When Do You Need an Appeals Attorney?

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When you lose a case or are not satisfied with part of a court’s decision, you can appeal to a higher court.  If the higher court accepts the case, it will review the record of the original trial to determine if there are grounds for changing the court’s ruling.

To make your case in appellate court, your appeals attorney will need to research the case thoroughly and write a legal brief explaining why the trial court made errors and why the court’s decision should then be reversed or changed.  Your appeals attorney cannot present new facts or evidence or correct any mistakes you think your trial attorney made. The appellate court will only review what is included in the official court record from the trial court.
 

Civil Appeals

If the court has issued an adverse judgement or verdict against you or your business, you have the right to appeal the decision.  Civil appeals can include such things as appealing an insurance decision, a divorce and/or custody decision, a workers’ compensation decision, or a foreclosure decision.

In all civil appeals, your appeals attorney needs to be experienced, thorough and careful.  As your attorney, we will prepare a notice of appeal, conduct detailed legal research on your case, participate actively in appellate settlement conferences and mediations on your behalf, write thorough briefs presenting our arguments, and prepare a convincing oral argument.
 

Criminal Appeals

Finding an experienced appeals attorney is especially important if you or a family member has been convicted of a crime. The conviction and sentence can have a negative impact on your whole family and the rest of your life. However, it doesn’t have to be the end of your legal fight.  A well prepared appeal can provide a chance for a better outcome, whether it be a decreased sentence or an overturned verdict.

In a criminal appeal, we will ask a higher court to review your case for legal errors regarding either the sentence imposed or the conviction itself.  We will argue that legal errors affected the court’s decision of guilt and/or the sentencing and, therefore, the case should be dismissed or you should be re-tried or re-sentenced.

To make these kind of serious arguments requires a comprehensive understanding of the law, thorough research into the case, and the ability to write clearly and convincingly.  Your appeal is too important to trust to an attorney who does not have expertise in appeals.  You need an attorney who will do everything possible to protect your legal rights and make sure you aren’t a victim of wrongful conviction or excessive punishment.
 

Work with an Experienced Appeals Attorney

Although any attorney can file an appeal, not just any attorney can be successful in appellate court.  To increase your chances of winning an appeal, you should work with an experienced appeals attorney who has extensive knowledge of the law, excellent research skills, and expertise in writing detailed, convincing arguments.

Often, an appeals attorney doesn’t even make oral arguments in court. In some cases an appellate court might hear oral arguments, especially if the issues are complex, but this is not typical as it is in trial court.  In fact, many appeals decisions are made based solely on the strength of the arguments in the written brief.

Since you usually only have one chance to appeal, you need an experienced appeals attorney who has successfully argued many cases in appellate court.  At HIGGS LAW, P.A., we have the experience and expertise you need to guide you effectively through the appeals process. We have successfully argued numerous insurance, civil, and criminal appeals before the Circuit and District Court of Appeals throughout Florida, and will put our experience and expertise to work fighting for you.

Earl I. Higgs, Jr.

For close to 20 years, Earl has devoted his practice to insurance claims and appellate cases. He has represented thousands of businesses and homeowners against insurance companies and has handled a multitude of cases involving property damage, business interruption, hurricane damage, and sinkhole claims.