West Palm Beach Appellate Lawyer
Trials are adversarial in nature, and judicial rulings come out in favor of one party at the expense of the other. At the conclusion of a trial, the losing party must consider whether it has grounds for appeal, and whether it would be strategically advantageous to do so. If you are considering an appeal in your civil case, or if you have been served with notice of an appeal by the other party after a trial, it is important to obtain representation from West Palm Beach appellate lawyers who are seasoned and experienced in Florida appellate law matters. Pincus & Currier LLP provides the level of experience and expertise you need for effective representation in the critical stage of an appeal.
How appeals are different from trials
If you are unfamiliar with how appellate law works, you might think that an appeal is a second chance to try your case before a different judge. Actually, appellate cases are not concerned with the actual issues that were at the heart of your case. Appellate judges (appeals are usually heard by a panel of three or more judges) do not listen to testimony of witnesses or rule on the introduction of evidence. Rather, an appeal is based on some supposed error that occurred during trial that was serious enough to affect its outcome. In other words, if the mistake had not been made, the trial likely would have turned out differently.
Some examples of errors in a trial that could form the grounds for an appeal include:
- An erroneous ruling on a party’s motion or objection
- Improperly admitting or refusing to admit a critical piece of evidence
- Delivering the wrong jury instructions
- Juror bias
- A judge’s abuse of power or discretion
The procedure of an appeal is also starkly different from a trial. An appeal may be decided entirely upon the submission of written briefs prepared and submitted by each party; oral argument before the judges may or may not be ordered. In a trial, information is delivered to the judge or jury by examining and cross-examining witnesses and introducing physical evidence. Attorneys and witnesses do most of the talking, and the judge intervenes only when necessary to make a ruling on a motion or objection. In an appeal, the attorney delivers an oral presentation to the judges and frequently engages in direct dialogue to answer questions put forward by the judges as the presentation moves along. A trial lasts until both parties are finished presenting their cases and may take days. An appellate oral argument is presented in a very structured and limited time frame, such as an hour, so extensive preparation must be made to deliver an effective and persuasive argument in the time allotted.
How our West Palm Beach appellate lawyers can help
As experienced courtroom litigators, the attorneys at Pincus & Currier are well-versed in and comfortable with the Florida appellate process. As trial lawyers we know how to preserve a record for appeal, including making appropriate objections and post-trial motions. This experience also enables us to review a trial transcript for errors – a critical step in the appeals process. Just as with trial preparation, we approach appeals with thorough, detailed preparation involving extensive legal research as appropriate to the facts of the case.
A notice to appeal must be filed within a very short timeframe after a trial has concluded. The next step is to prepare a meticulous, clear petition with a compelling argument to the appellate court why an appeal is warranted and should be allowed to proceed. Equally important for the other party is to draft an appropriate response. Count on Pincus & Currier to provide detailed, methodical and persuasive arguments at every step of the appeal, from petition or response to briefing and oral argument.
Call Pincus & Currier for Help with Florida Civil Appeals
For help with appeal of a commercial litigation or insurance coverage dispute, labor & employment law matter or unpaid wage claim, car accident or other personal injury in West Palm Beach or Florida statewide, call Pincus & Currier at 561-868-1340, or contact us online to schedule a consultation with our team of West Palm Beach appellate lawyers.