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What Is An Appeal?

What Is An Appeal?

Attorney L. Reed Bloodworth is the Founder and CEO of Bloodworth Law, a 2022 U.S. News & World Report Best Law Firm in Orlando for Trusts & Estates Litigation, Commercial Litigation, and Real Estate Litigation.

Bloodworth Law handles appeals for civil law cases – NOT criminal cases — involving trusts, estates, probate, business, or employment.

So, what is an appeal? In an appeal there is a review of the decisions made in a trial court or a lower tribunal to determine whether a legal error has occurred. Legal error is harmful if it affects the outcome of the case.

An appeal involves a client hiring an attorney who will ask a higher court – an appeals court — to review a judgment that was applied to a case in a lower court.

The appellate attorney hired has found legal grounds that would change the original decision on a court case.

All Cases May Not Be Appealed

All cases may not be appealed because an appeal is based only on the application of the law as it was originally applied by the court in a case.

A client hires and pays an appellate attorney to dispute — which means appeal — a case based only on the law applied. This means that your attorney has found a law that should have been used to decide your case.

Basis For An Appeal

Unlike the movies or TV shows, a long-lost witness, or new evidence is NOT the basis for an appeal. Nor can you appeal a case because you didn’t like the decision in your court case.

Reasons for an appeal vary, but there has to have been a legal or procedural error made at the trial court level. And, this error must have been preserved on the record by raising an objection.

Appeals cases are expensive because they require extensive work by the lawyer. The appellate attorney hired for an appeal is not usually the lawyer who handled the first case.

An Appeal Involves:

  • Extensive research
  • Reviewing and studying case law
  • Re-reading and studying the entire court transcript
  • Preparation of the appeals briefs, and,
  • Law that should have been applied to your case – the basis for your appeal.

When research has concluded, the attorney decides whether there is Florida law that may be applied to your case. If the answer is “yes,” an appeal in your case may be pursued.

The Appellate Court

The Appellate Court for an appeal is handled differently than the first court case. The appeals attorney presents a written brief to a panel of three judges.

The Appeals Brief Is Key

Your appeals attorney has to prove in the brief that there was an incorrect application of the law in your case and that there is a basis for changing the outcome of your case.

If the panel of three judges agrees, then your appeal can move forward.

If you have a case that has new legal grounds, talk with Reed and the Bloodworth Law team about you, your family, or your business, and the case that you want to appeal.

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