While very few cases of the tens of thousands of cases carefully decided by Indiana trial court judges are appealed to the Indiana Court of Appeals or Indiana Supreme Court each year, a litigant with an adverse civil judgment or criminal conviction should carefully weigh the options of appealing. This is because a judgment after the time for appeal (typically 30 days) stands and there are very few legal reasons to bring a challenge at a later date.
In criminal cases, first, the failure to appeal to highest discretionary court (meaning the court does not have to accept the case) limits subsequent rights that might set aside a wrongful conviction. What this means is a party cannot sit idly by with a wrongful conviction and wait until later to complain about it. He or she must engage the legal system and exhaust remedies.
Second, in civil cases, with the exception of child custody matters, a final decision cannot be later attacked because the party wants a second chance and has buyer’s remorse at the decision not to appeal. Very few cases get set aside after the fact if a party did not avail himself to appeal. In most cases, these are because a party was defrauded of the ability to have a fair trial or appeal because of information intentionally withheld from the other side. These are very difficult to do.
Thus, a party who receives and adverse judgment should carefully discuss an appeal with his or her trial counsel or appellate counsel (sometimes trial attorneys do not do appeals) and decide if an appeal is justified under the facts and circumstances now and for the future.
This blog post was written by attorneys at Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. who handle appeals from all final orders of Indiana trial courts to the Indiana Court of Appeals, Indiana Supreme Court, Seventh Circuit, and United States Supreme Court. We hope this blog post makes you a more educated legal consumer and member of the citizenry. If so it has met its objective. This blog is not a solicitation for legal services or legal advice. It is an advertisement.