Do you believe that you lost a case unfairly? If you do, then you should consider appealing against the decision. This should be especially the case if you believe that you have new compelling evidence, or that the letter of the law was not followed. Before you lodge the appeal, however, there are three things you should know about the process:
1. It's Not a New Trial
Many people think that appealing a case is the same as going for a new trial, but this isn't the case. In an appeal court, you are merely expected to bring new evidence that may not have been available or known to you during the trial. In addition, this new evidence should have serious significance to your trial.
Consider an example where you lose a personal injury case after failing to prove that the defendant was distracted while driving. If, after the trial, you find CCTV footage that shows the defendant playing with a dog on his or her lap, then you can lodge an appeal because this is new evidence.
2. It Doesn't Always End at the Supreme Court
Many people want the US Supreme Court to be the last court to hear their case before they can accept defeat. When they lose a case, they lodge an appeal in the federal/state, go to the state supreme court if they lose, and then take it up with the US Supreme Court before accepting defeat.
That is an ideal chain to follow with a case, but it doesn't always work that way. The Supreme Courts, in particular, have a backlog of cases to review. This means they will only pick up your case if they are convinced that it is federal or constitutional. In essence, this means that they will not pick up your case just because you believe the previous judge was biased.
3. It's Involves Disapproving the Previous Judge or Jury
Another thing to note is that much of the process involves proving to the appellate judge that the trial judge or jury erred in your case. You want to show that the judge did not follow the law, and that if he or she would have followed it, then you would not have lost.
As you may imagine, the defense will stop at nothing to prove that this is not the case. In fact, an appeal court is one of the places where legal knowledge matters most. This is not one of the situations where you need the best lawyer you can find.
You may be thinking that the appeal process is pretty complicated, which is true, but that is the same thing that makes it fair. If you are convinced that you need an appeal, and your attorney also concurs, then you should go ahead and follow it up to the end. Have more questions? Contact a professional like James Lee Katz with any questions you have.Share