|You are the plaintiff or defendant in a civil lawsuit. You lost.|
|You believe that the result is horribly unjust. You want to appeal.|
|You need to know what an appeal is and what an appeal is not. An appeal is not a second chance. In a civil case at least 80% of the time the Court of Appeal affirms the trial court.|
|Maybe you think that your attorney did a terrible job. He never asked the most important question. She did not call the most critical witness or make the best argument. Now it is too late. The trial is like a movie that has already been made. You cannot now add new characters, scenes, or dialogue. The Court of Appeal will review the record as it exists, but it will not accept new evidence, nor entertain an entirely new argument. If any attorney paints a rosy picture about your chances of prevailing on appeal, that attorney is aggressively trying to sell you his or her legal services.|
Just like there are three things you need to know about real estate, there are three things you need to know about appeals -- Standard of Review -- Standard of Review -- Standard of Review.
The Court of Appeal is a reviewing court. The justices on the Court of Appeal review the work of the trial court judges. The lens through which they review this record is the Standard of Review
The decision to appeal is not easy. Sometimes you may need to appeal for emotional reasons. You need to feel that you have turned over every stone before you can bring closure to whatever situation brought you into litigation in the first place. Sometimes, filing an appeal simply does not make economic sense even if you believe you have a decent chance of winning on appeal.
Of course, if you are the Respondent and your opponent has filed a Notice of Appeal, you have no choice. Take heart in knowing that the odds are on your side. Nevertheless, make certain you have competent appellate counsel. You do not want to lose your hard won victory at this stage because you were too complacent.
|Check out my web pages to find out about my approach to legal writing and analysis, and for a basic understanding of the costs depending upon whether you are the appellant or the respondent.|