A lawyer trained in appellate law can help you see your case from a different perspective. If they believe that you have a good case for appeal, they can show you how to proceed. They consult and review trial records, formulate and document persuasive briefs, and represent you and your case before a higher court. They can help set the record straight.
What is an Appellate Lawyer?
A trial lawyer's job is to convince juries and judges that their client's version of facts is correct. The presentation of compelling evidence usually takes precedence over legal arguments.
A trial court's judgment changes everything. In an appellate court, the factual conclusion of the trial court is usually all that matters - and the question is whether it applied the law correctly. A decision is made by the appellate court based on a written record of the trial proceedings, a couple of briefs, and one short oral argument at the most - sometimes none.
By evaluating the case objectively from these new perspectives, a lawyer for appellate near you can help parties imagine how the appellate court will view the case. Since appellate courts focus on legal issues, appellate counsel will almost never reexamine factual findings. Appellate issues are rarely the same as those that prevailed at trial.
What Does an Appellate Attorney Do?
Expert appellate lawyers assist clients (as well as trial counsel) in navigating this new terrain. New questions arise: Can the judgment be appealed? How will the court review the client's potential arguments based on what standards it will apply, and how does that affect the strength of their arguments? Was there any evidence of trial court error preserved on appeal? Are there key issues that can be won, and which will only clog the brief? In what ways may this case affect the law?
An attorney and her law firm have many opportunities to clarify complex legal and factual issues. Appeals are different. Parties have only a few chances - mainly through written advocacy - to educate generalist appellate judges about the relevant facts and law and the strength of their position. Attorneys must streamline complex concepts, eliminate surplus, and communicate in terms appellate courts understand.
Trial lawyers often complain that appellate judges cannot shake their "jury" presentation styles. Appellate lawyers understand the totally different approach required in this new arena - where the core question is legal, not factual, and 10-30 minutes of oral argument per side is the norm.
When to Hire an Appellate Lawyer?
As appellate attorneys near you have special knowledge of how appeals are handled, they can provide valuable advice and assistance to litigants while the case is still in the trial court. As soon as it becomes apparent which side will take a case up on appeal, appellate counsel needs to be hired in order to help prepare the case as favorably as possible.
How Do I Choose an Appellate Attorney?
Defense attorneys can initiate and handle appeals, but they may not always be the best choice. It has nothing to do with their ability to defend you in court. Instead, appellate attorneys bring a fresh view to your case. Here are the top qualities to look for the best appellate lawyers lawyer near you:
Your attorney should have experience with post-conviction proceedings. Appellate law is more than just "book smarts.” It takes years of experience to learn how to present a compelling argument in a court of appeals. Ask your attorney about their experience in appellate cases.
Expert appellate attorneys place a high priority on communication with their clients. However, their communication skills should go beyond this. Appellate lawyers who succeed are effective orators who can persuasively argue your side. The legal briefs they draft should also effectively establish your case, which is why they should be excellent writers.
Your attorney should be the one who handles your appeal from start to finish, not just the one who speaks with you and consults on your case. Appellate attorneys should want to take up your case personally and establish a relationship with you as a client. Do not trust others with your case.
The reality is that there are lawyers who will take on any case to pad their own pockets with the legal fees they charge. A lawyer can be an expensive investment, and he or she owes you full and open disclosure of the chances of your appeal being successful. Appellate courts are rarely given the opportunity to consider appeals. You want an attorney who is enthusiastic about your case but not overly optimistic.
The most successful appellate attorneys are generally regarded as being the most expensive. You should consider all the above factors when considering how much an attorney charges. A high-priced lawyer may have limited experience in appellate law. In the same way, an attorney with low fees may be unable to effectively defend your appeal due to other cases.
How Much Does the Appellate Lawyer Average Cost?
An appellate lawyer charges an hourly rate for services that cannot be provided on a flat fee. Lawyers usually charge $300/hour, but their rates can vary based on their experience.
For an appellate lawyer to provide an estimate, they need to fully understand your case.
Do Appellate Attorneys Usually Charge for Consultations?
Each person's situation differs. Lawyers often offer free consultations so you can decide if the lawyer is the right choice for you. Consultations are not intended to offer legal advice but to determine whether you wish to hire this lawyer.
A lawyer makes money from consultations, but if a client doesn't show up or arrives late, it takes time away from paying them. Payment ensures that clients take the transaction seriously.