If you are party to a legal dispute which is being appealed, or even if you are an experienced trial lawyer facing an appeal for the first time or in an unfamiliar area, the Hancock Law Firm, PLLC, in Jackson can help. Our attorneys have experience in civil and criminal appellate litigation in state and federal courts throughout Mississippi. Our team has the knowledge and skills necessary for effective representation in the appellate courts.An Appeal Is Different Than a Trial
Whether you are considering an appeal in your case or need to respond to an appeal filed by the other party, it is important to understand from the outset that an appeal is very different from a courtroom trial. First of all, an appeal is not a second opportunity to try your case, as some people believe. An appeal is asking a higher court to overturn a ruling made by a lower court based on some error or misapplication of the law. The error must also be significant enough to warrant a reversal or other change to the trial court’s ruling. Therefore, the grounds for an appeal are very limited, and the burden placed on the petitioner filing the appeal is high.
Examples of errors at trial which may warrant a reversal, a new trial, or alteration of the decision in the trial court include:
- An improper jury instruction
- An incorrect ruling on a motion
- An incorrect ruling on an objection
- Allowing inadmissible evidence
- Excluding admissible evidence
The skills necessary for a successful appellate attorney are somewhat different than the trial lawyer. Appeals are decided largely on the basis of briefs prepared and submitted to the court for review. In fact, not all appeals are slated for oral argument and are decided solely on the briefs submitted. It is therefore crucial that your appellate attorney possess superior research and writing skills, the ability to identify errors in the trial, and the experience to argue the law and facts in a persuasive fashion.
As attorneys experienced in both trial and appellate law, we understand the types of errors that can be made at trial, and we know how to review the record for those errors. In addition, we are used to thoroughly preparing for trial and being ready to answer any arguments or objections that may occur at trial at the spur of the moment. This training and experience helps us to thoroughly prepare appellate briefs and be ready to argue the case in front of a panel of justices and answer any questions they may have.
In the case of criminal appeals, our firm’s experience includes extensive work in appellate and post-conviction cases in Mississippi, including capital (death penalty) cases, at the statewide level.Get Help With Your Mississippi Appeal From Experienced Jackson Metro Area Attorneys
Civil litigation is adversarial in nature and usually concludes with a winner and a loser, so it is no surprise that many cases are appealed. In addition to a final judgment at trial, there are many appealable orders on motions before and during trial and even post-judgment that may be appealed. If you believe errors were made in your trial, or if you have been served with a notice of appeal by the other party in a litigation, trust your case to experienced appellate lawyers who have successfully handled appeals in cases like yours. In the greater Jackson metro area, contact the Hancock Law Firm, PLLC, for assistance.