Somerset County Appellate Lawyers
Rules for appeal vary from state to state and from the state to the federal level as well. For this reason, it is important to retain an attorney knowledgeable about appellate law on the state as well as the federal level. McDonald & Rogers, LLC has over 60 years of combined trial experience, and the lawyers are well-versed in the regulations governing state and federal appellate law.
What Is An Appeal?
An appeal is a case filed by a person who was involved in a prior case and is unhappy with the result of that case. Appeals can be filed against criminal verdicts, civil decisions and even pre-trial dismissals. Appellate courts, however, do not retry the original case nor do they hear new evidence. Rather, appellate courts review the events of the original case to determine whether procedures were followed properly and laws were applied correctly.
The Appeal Process
Generally three briefs are filed in an appeal:
- Opening Brief – filed by the appellant and detailing the facts and procedures of the original case, stating reasons why the decision in the case should be reversed.
- Responsive Brief – a response to the opening brief filed by the appellee and detailing why the original decision was correct and should not be reversed.
- Reply Brief – can be filed by the appellant in reply to the response brief but may not contain any new arguments.
When it comes to factual issues regarding the original case, the appellate court generally will defer to the trial court. However, an Appellate Court will reverse the judgment of the original court provided that court made an error in the interpretation and/or application of the law and that error was proven to be prejudicial. In other words, the error caused the case to end in a verdict or decision that would have been different had the error not been made. Examples include:
- The jury being given incorrect instructions;
- Improperly admitting or excluding evidence;
- Failing to follow correct procedures.
It is the job of the Appellate Court to decide whether or not the error affected the outcome of the original trial. Appeals are decided by an appellate panel rather than an individual judge.
If you have received a decision by a court that you feel should be appealed, Contact the Somerville, Somerset County, New Jersey law offices of McDonald & Rogers, LLC by e-mail, or call 908-722-4100 today to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced Somerset County appellate lawyers. The attorneys will bring a breadth and depth of knowledge in appellate law to your case along with dedicated and personalized legal representation for your important legal matter.