When the Trial Goes Wrong: File an Appeal
Did your trial result in an unfavorable outcome?
Do you think the judge misinterpreted the facts of your case?
Are you considering an appeal?
One of your first thoughts when you consider an appeal is likely to be, “This is going to cost me.” At times, an appeal can be as costly as a trial, and because of the slow progress of cases in most appellate courts, getting a decision on your appeal can take a very long time.
Deciding whether to appeal involves considerations you may have used when you decided to file the original lawsuit. You must consider the costs involved, the time and effort required, and attorney fees.
Before you file an appeal, consider asking the trial court to rehear your case or reconsider its decision. Even if you’re hiring a lawyer to handle your appeal, this may be a good first step for your lawyer – to help raise newly discovered evidence or to try to convince the court that its decision was made in error.
You can raise one of two types of error on appeal, including:
- Mistakes of fact: The judge or jury misinterpreted the facts of the case, resulting in a ruling against you.
- Mistakes of law: The judge made a mistake applying the law to your case.
When you consider an appeal, you must try to think of every error that the trial court made. You need to evaluate whether the appellate court will agree that the errors are really errors and also that those mistakes justify relief from the trial court’s judgment.
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