Unfortunately, trial can go exactly the way you wanted, you can win on all your claims only for the other side to file an appeal and force you to continue defending the lawsuit. Alternatively, you can spend a year or more prepping the best possible case and present it beautifully at trial, but the jury or the judge still rules against you. If this happens and you believe the trial outcome was unjust, it’s worth exploring whether or not you have a valid cause for appeal. And, while some people might be inclined to stick with their original trial attorney, there are a number of reasons you should consider hiring a Florida appellate attorney who specializes in this type of litigation.
Here are some of the main reasons to hire an appellate attorney:
Appeals Differ from Trials
Appeals are a completely different process than a trial. They involve more processes, and the skillset required to handle an appeal is entirely different than a trial lawyer. At trial, your attorney is collecting evidence and looking to prove your case through evidence and testimony. With an appeal, your attorney is trying to look for legal errors that occurred during the trial process that would justify a second chance.
Many Trial Attorneys Don’t Handle Appeals
It’s not uncommon for attorneys to focus on either trials or appeals. Some trial lawyers don’t handle appeals, or this would be their first case. In these situations, you are better off having an experienced appellate attorney handle the matter.
Appellate Attorney Can Offer New Viewpoint
Having a fresh set of eyes on the case is not a bad thing. An appellate attorney will offer a new perspective on your case. It’s easy, after focusing on the same case for months, to get blinders on and miss something in the bigger picture. A fresh look at your case might identify new issues that can be argued during the appeal.
Your Appeal May Involve Attorney Mistakes
One of the ways an appellate court will grant a second chance is if your attorney made errors that resulted in the unjust outcome. How can your trial attorney argue the appeal that his or her own mistakes justify a retrial or reversal? It’s best to have a completely objective party who is arguing the mistakes of your case during the trial phase. Ineffective or incompetent counsel is especially prevalent with criminal matters in some cases.
There May be Multiple Appeals
There is no guarantee that you will win your initial appeal. You may have to appeal to a higher court if you lose. Or, even if you win, the opposing party may then appeal the matter to a higher level. It’s definitely critical to have an attorney who has intimate knowledge of the appeals process and has the track record to prove it.
Appellate Attorneys Know How to Best Build an Appeal
Attorneys who have appellate experience are best suited to quickly identify the trial errors and how to frame the case for an appellate court to hear it. Since he or she wasn’t involved in the lower trial court process, there is no emotion attached to not wanting to remove a weak argument.
Retaining a Florida Appellate Attorney
At Pincus & Currier LLP, we’ve been helping small and medium-sized businesses with a variety of litigation needs, including appellate cases. We can handle everything from simple contract disputes to complex commercial claims. Contact our West Palm Beach office at 561-868-1340 to schedule a consultation.