When someone loses their case in court, they may want to file an appeal. This is true of both criminal and civil cases. Some circumstances may make an appeal a realistic option, giving the person a chance at having a previous decision reversed.
What leads to an appeal?
In a civil case, the judgment is legally thought to be the correct ruling. If the losing party wants to have the judgment or decision overturned, they need to have an appellate lawyer with experience in these cases making the argument to have the civil court case overturned.
Some of the reasons a lower court ruling may be taken to an appeals court include:
- Procedural deficiencies during the trial
- Rulings before the trial
- An error of law; a previous case was misinterpreted
- Not enough evidence or evidence that was improperly admitted
What is an appeal?
An appeal is a legal review of how the trial court applied the law. Several judges hear the appeal, then make the decision about overturning the trial court’s ruling or letting it stand.
In an appeal hearing, there is no jury to hear and decide on the facts. Instead, the panel of judges listens to the arguments made by both appeals lawyers. After hearing all the arguments, the judges make their decisions and enter their ruling. For some appeals, the entire number of judges may hear a case, then grant a motion for a rehearing. The full panel of judges is known as “en banc.” The entire court may then render a new decision after arguments have been heard.
What is the basis for an appeal?
Appeals are not heard just because the person who lost doesn’t like the decision. Instead, an appeals hearing is intended to challenge a trial courts judge’s decision based on errors during or before the trial.