An appeal is a request for a higher court to review a lower court’s decision. The appellate court reviews the record of what happened in the lower court and makes a ruling based on the attorney’s arguments. Nothing new can be added to the record. If you have new information, that is handled at the trial court level with a motion for a new trial. Appeals are handled by lawyers who excel at research and writing. An appellate attorney can argue that the lower court’s decision should be reversed because they got it wrong, or an appellate attorney can argue that the lower court’s decision should be affirmed because they got it right. The higher court makes its decision solely on the record and the written briefs submitted to the court.We have extensive experience with appellate advocacy, even conducting training sessions for other lawyers learning how to do appeals. We take the time necessary to comb through large volumes of transcripts looking for appealable errors and because of our experience, we can spot important issues quickly so that we can begin preparing our arguments. Our experience with appeals also informs our trial practice because we are adept at properly preserving issues for potential appeals.
Each appellate court is beholden to the court above it, reaching all the way up to the United States Supreme Court. These justices are persuaded by great scholarship and legal thinking. The more concise and intellectual one’s arguments and the greater the number of errors made by opposing counsel, the more likely they are to reverse the lower court. They are not persuaded by catch phrases or some of the more fanciful things that might sway a jury or the court of public opinion.