Not all trial or cases are won at the first level of the court system. That’s why they established an appeals process. And while most people would rather just “call it a day” and let their case go, some people feel so strongly about their position that they want to appeal to a higher court in what is known as “an appeal.”
First, in order to pursue an appeal, the losing party must file a notice of appeal within 30 days of the last thing being done on the original case. If your case was first pending in the District Court ( Misdemeanor cases, small claims, landlord/tenant, etc.) you would appeal to the Appellate Term. If your case started out as a felony in County, Family or Supreme Court, then you would appeal to the Appellate Division. If you still want to appeal after the Appellate Division, then you must seek leave to appeal to the Court of Appeals in New York. Last, but certainly not least, if you still feel you want to further appeal from the New York Court of Appeals, you then must seek leave to directly appeal to the United States Supreme Court.
On a federal level if you started with a Magistrate Judge, then you would appeal to a Judge of the District Court. If you started with a Judge of the District Court then you would appeal to the Circuit Court of Appeals and if that was unsuccessful, then you would seek leave to appeal to the United States Supreme Court.
Again, it takes a very special type of attorney to prepare for and draft appeals. First, they must review all of the original case paperwork and all of the testimony before the Court. Voluminous notes must be made and organized in order to keep everything orderly and available to the appellate attorney. It is then up to the appellate attorney to research all of the applicable law on the subject, review it in detail and draft an appellate brief based upon his or her findings and conclusions. All of this must be done within a specified time line that is very strictly imposed upon all appellate attorneys.
Once the brief has been drafted, it must then go out to the printer’s office and be reproduced 11 times in certain Appellate Divisions and bound in an expensive binding so that it will not only look presentable to the Appellate court, but will also not fall apart as its being reviewed by all of the various Judges and their law clerks.
Then, the opponent has an even more limited period of time to provide an Responsive Brief which lays out the originally winning side’s position and have it printed and delivered within the time limitations of the court rules. Once that has been accomplished, the party appealing has one last chance to Reply to the Responsive Brief and that must take place in an even more abbreviated fashion and time limit. In appellate work, even the number and size of the font must be strictly adhered to by the appellate lawyer.
Once all of the various briefs have been submitted to the court, the appellate lawyers will be notified as to when they are scheduled to Argue their positions before the court based upon their Briefs. This can be an arduous and grueling experience - even for experienced trial attorneys because it often consists of between three and five Judges on what is often called a “hot bench” (meaning they’ve all read your briefs and if they have questions, you can be sure it will be a hot exchange) and it can often be harrowing experience. It takes an experienced attorney to stand up for their client’s position in the face of stiff opposition before a “hot” bench.
Our appellate attorneys are some of the very best at all of these aspects and can bring your case through the appellate process successfully. Contact us by completing the Contact form or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can hear your case and help you decide if you want to pursue an appeal of your case. Remember, time is of the essence, so do it as soon as possible.