When you initially receive an outcome to your case, the result may not always be in your favor. While the legal system is generally designed to try and obtain a fair and unbiased outcome to each issue, the truth is that it’s still run by humans and that means there’s always the possibility for mistakes, errors, unjustified biases, or lapses in judgement. Fortunately, you do have options for possibly changing this outcome through the appellate court system.
However, whether or not you can appeal your case depends on a few different factors. First of all, an appeal is not a “do-over” on your case where you get to start over again from scratch and try again. There are some key differences between appellate courts and those where your case is first heard that should influence whether or not you decide to go through with pursuing an appeal. On this blog, we’ll discuss them in greater detail.
Appellate Court Differences
Appellate courts are significantly different from standard courts for a few reasons. First, cases brought to appellate courts are not heard by a jury. Instead, the decision ultimately rests either with an appellate court judge or a panel of judges or administrators who will have the ultimate decision as to whether or not your appeal is granted based on your premises.
Second, appellate courts often can’t reverse the verdict of your case. This means that a victory in an appellate court doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get the verdict or outcome that you were pursuing in the first place. Rather, appellate courts often simply determine whether the initial verdict was made in error, and instead can rule that the case needs to be re-opened with the error corrected.
Finally, appellate courts do not offer you the chance to introduce new evidence or reformulate your case. Appellate courts will review everything from your initial matter as it was entered, and you will not be allowed to present any new evidence that may have come to light, even if the evidence was lawfully gathered and could lead to your case being changed completely.
Types of Appellate Courts
At White Law, PLLC, we can assist you with all types of appeals in many different types of appellate courts. We offer qualified counsel and representation throughout the appeals process for all types of cases, including the following:
- Civil case appellate court: Civil matters can include things like negligence claims in medical malpractice suits, breach of contract matters in business law, commercial disputes, or other matters involving both individuals and businesses. Civil law is a broad and widely-encompassing type of law and appeals can be as unique as the cases themselves.
- Family law appellate court: Divorce and family law matters are complex, and so are the laws that regulate them. Likewise, unlike some civil and most criminal matters, they’re not heard before a full jury and instead the final decision is often made by the opinion of a judge. Judges may place unfair weight on certain pieces of evidence while inappropriately disregarding others when coming to their final conclusions.
- Criminal appellate court: Criminal cases are sometimes decided by evidence with questionable integrity, or a court may not have given proper thought to a piece of evidence that could have changed the outcome. Finally, some people choose to appeal their sentence, arguing that it doesn’t fit the crime for which they were convicted.
- Administrative agency cases: Perhaps the most common type of administrative agency appeal is a Social Security appeal. Whether you’re trying to claim social security benefits, Medicare, Medicaid, or go through any other type of administrative program, our attorneys can help you pursue a better outcome.