The Appeals Process

The losing party in a decision by a trial court normally is entitled to appeal the decision to a higher court. Typically the higher courts are either state courts of appeal, or a state supreme court. In the federal system, appeals will be made to the court of appeals for the federal circuit in which your state is located. Similarly, a person who is not satisfied with a decision made by an administrative agency usually may file a petition for review of the agency decision by a court of law or to a court of appeals.

It is imperative to consult with a lawyer with the experience to successfully handle a case on appeal. The lawyers at Huffman Butler & Mason, PLLC, have that experience in both state and federal courts in Arkansas and Tennessee. If you have a case that you are considering appealing a decision, contact us immediately. There are strict deadlines to file an appeal, and these deadlines are very short. If the deadline is missed, the opportunity to appeal may be lost.

How The Appeals Process Works

In a civil case either side may appeal the verdict. In a criminal case, the defendant may appeal a guilty verdict, but the government may not appeal if a defendant is found not guilty. Either side in a criminal case may appeal with respect to the sentence that is imposed after a guilty verdict.

The court of appeals decision usually will be the last word in a case, unless it sends the case back to the trial court for additional proceedings, or the parties ask the state supreme court in a state case or the U.S. Supreme Court in a federal case to review the case.

Appeals are different from other areas of practice in that the appeals process looks to solely the record on appeal. This means there are no new submissions to the court of evidence or testimony to be considered. The appellate court will only consider those items of evidence and testimony presented to the trial court. Further, appellate courts will apply the rules strictly. If an appellate attorney does not follow them closely (which means follow them "to the letter" so to speak), the issue or appeal may be consider to not "be preserved" and the appellate court oftentimes will refuse to hear the case or consider the issue presented to the court.

Speak To Experienced Appellate Litigators Today

We at Huffman Butler & Mason, PLLC, are not your lawyers (yet!). We welcome the chance to discuss your issue and decide if we are the right lawyers for you, and indeed, whether you are the right client for our firm. Please contact us today to help resolve your issue.