An appeal is a process in which a higher court may review a lower court’s decision to determine if the order or judgment contains errors of fact and/or errors of law. At the state and federal level there is a hierarchal court system. In most states there is a trial court (or some cases may begin at an administrative level court, and appeal on to a circuit court first), a court of appeals, and a state supreme court. In the federal system, there are district courts, courts of appeal, and the United States Supreme Court. In some circumstances, cases that originate in state courts may appeal to the United States Supreme Court (constitutional questions of law) or may be transferred to the Federal court system.
In most circumstances you have one appeal by right to the Court of Appeals, which means that the Court of Appeals must review your case. While you may seek to have the next higher court (state supreme court) review your case, this is by permission only, with some limited exceptions. As a general rule you may only appeal once your case is completely finished and there is a final order, or in criminal matters, a final sentence. You have a limited amount of time to file for an appeal after the date of the order, or you may lose your right to appeal forever.
There may be many reasons you would seek appeal, including errors in interpreting the law, application of the wrong law, misapplication of the law, or errors and mistakes of fact. Each case and each trial is unique, and has a diverse set of facts, and laws at play, with many places that an error might occur.
Appeals are a complex area of legal practice and procedure, with many nuances in the law to ensure a fair and timely review by the Court of Appeals, and higher courts. At Schmeltzer Law, I can assist you with navigating the intricate rules and procedures governing the appellate and briefing processes, to help you work towards achieving your legal goals, even after the trial is over.