Indiana provides parties involved in legal disputes, whether it be criminal or civil in nature, with the opportunity to appeal the outcome of the case, albeit, with some exceptions. While the right to appeal is a cherished tradition, it can also cause headaches due to the extremely technical nature of the appellate process. This can leave many with a multitude of questions and concerns, such as whether your appeal is timely? What evidence can be relied on in your appeal? Or when you should consider seeking an appeal in this first place? These questions or concerns are normal, but may be able to be relieved by the assistance of a skilled appellate attorney. In this blog, we look at the benefits of hiring an appellate lawyer.
One of the benefits to hiring an appellate attorney is that an appellate attorney can bring a fresh perspective to a case. If you have reached the point where you are considering an appeal, chances are that you have been dealing with the case for many months or even years. Trial attorneys are required to develop themes and theories for their cases, and in doing so, can develop tunnel vision. Hiring an appellate attorney allows a new pair of eyes to review the case and often times are able to pick out issues not previously recognized.
Another benefit to hiring an appeal attorney is that appellate attorneys understand what appellate judges care about and how to best emphasize the record on appeal. Both trial attorneys and appellate attorneys want justice, however, the rules and procedures surrounding appeals and trial court cases can vary greatly. This leads to trial attorneys and appellate attorneys developing different skill sets. When it comes to an appeal, an appellate attorney will understand exactly what can and cannot be used in your appeal, and the best way to use the record to your advantage. The drafting of appellate briefs and preparing for oral arguments at the appellate level are unique skills that do not allow overlap with the skills of a trial attorney.
A third benefit is that hiring an appellate attorney will ensure a final appealable judgment is entered and appellate timelines are observed, thereby preserving your right to appeal. As mentioned above, the appellate process is technical, and time requirements are rigidly enforced. For example, In order to preserve your right to appeal, a general rule that you must file your notice of appeal within 30 days of the court’s entry of your appealable order or you forfeit the right to appeal. Ensuring that your appeal is being timely handled can help relieve a lot of the concern that comes with the appellate process.
It is important to note that the above information is general in nature, and know that there are exceptions to almost every rule. Appeals are complex matters, oftentimes turning on the specific facts of each case. This area of practice is extremely technical, and obtaining skilled counsel is often key to navigating the complex waters of appeals. This blog post was written by attorneys at Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. who handle all types of appeals, be it civil or criminal, throughout Indiana. This blog is intended for general educational purposes only. It is not intended as legal advice or a solicitation for services. It is an advertisement.