Defending yourself in court is not where most people want to end up, and having a judge rule against you is never the desired outcome. However, a judge’s decision does not always have to be final, and there are sometimes ways to challenge the decision and try to obtain a ruling in your favor. This appeal process is often lengthy and complex, and the best chance you have of winning is to have a qualified attorney by your side.
What is an Appeal
If you lose a case or are unhappy with part of a decision made by a lower court, an appeal is a request for a higher court to review the case and reverse the decision. The higher court will not give you a new trial – they will just look at the evidence that was already presented and determine if any mistakes were made during the original trial.
You cannot file an appeal just because you don’t like the verdict, however. Acceptable reasons for appeal include:
- Evidence in the case that did not support the verdict
- An unfair trial
- Legal errors made by the judge
What the Court Can Decide
After the appellate court judges have completed their review, they can make the following decisions:
- Affirm – The court agrees with and upholds the decision of the lower court
- Reverse – The court disagrees with the lower court’s decision, and the appeal is won
- Remand – The court sends the case back to the lower court to consider new evidence or hold a new trial
- Reverse and Remand – The court disagrees with what happened in the lower court and sends it back to be corrected
Why a Good Attorney is So Important
The process of appealing a case is very complicated and there are many specific rules that need to be followed. There are numerous legal documents that need to be prepared and filed along the way, and a mistake on any of them can get the case dismissed. The better prepared your attorney is, and the more experience they have with avoiding critical errors by applying the right strategies throughout the process, the more likely your chance is of winning your appeal.
Contact Churchill, Quinn, Richtman & Hamilton, Ltd. at 847-223-1500 to speak to one of our knowledgeable attorneys who can explain how to successfully navigate the appeal process.