The appellate process is how our legal system gives any wrongly convicted person a chance to correct legal failures. The Federal Appellate Circuit courts can review and overturn – or affirm – rulings. This is a complex process that anyone with questions about their conviction must understand.
Who are the primary persons involved in an Appellate court?
The main parties concerned in an appeal are the appellant and the appellee.
- The appellant: The appellant is the individual or party that lost the original case. It is the appellant’s duty to identify the error or mistake in the decision. They must then convince the appellate court that the error is so significant that the grounds for the appeal are valid. At that point, the appeals court will convene a trial to examine this possibility.
- The appellee: The appellee is typically the party that was successful in the initial trial, either the State in criminal law or the victorious party in a civil one. It is the duty of the appellee to defend the decision of the judge or jury in the trial court. The appellee needs to prove that the decision was correct and the appeal has no merit.
Anytime someone files an appeal, all persons involved must adhere to the Florida Rules of Appellate Procedure. It is an extraordinarily complex method.
Why should I hire an appellate lawyer?
While you can file an appeal on your own, it’s not advisable. The process is so complicated, even for a lawyer with no experience in appellate litigation. An appellate lawyer representing either party must meticulously review the entire appeal, examining and reexamining trial transcripts, motions and evidentiary materials.
The sad truth of the legal system is that the courts don’t always get it right on their first try. But you have the opportunity for a second chance.