If the results of your trial are not what you expected, it might be because of an error at trial. Trial judges try hard to get it right, but even the best judge is wrong on occasion. Whether the trial court misapplied the law to the facts of the case, ignored evidence, considered evidence it should not have, or erred as a matter of law, you have the right to an appeal.
What is an Appeal?
When the trial judge enters a decision that you disagree with, you have the right to appeal that decision to a superior court to attempt to change the outcome. Nebraska has two levels of appellate review: the Nebraska Court of Appeals and the Nebraska Supreme Court.
An appeal is started by timely filing notice of appeal and transferring the needed information to the reviewing court. It then requires complex written briefs precisely conforming to detailed rules. Violate one of these rules or miss a deadline and you can lose the right for an issue to be considered or your appeal can be dismissed.
If you do things right, the Court will hear the case upon oral arguments and enter a written opinion. It can affirm the trial court decision, reverse for a new trial, or reverse with specific directions for the trial court to modify its original order.
Why should I hire another attorney for my appeal?
A common thought is that appeals can be handled by your trial attorney. Sometimes they do a great job. But sometimes an attorney has trouble looking at their own case objectively, and many good trial attorneys have little skill or experience handling appeals. An independent appellate attorney provides a fresh set of eyes for an unbiased and objective review of the trial court proceedings for appealable issues.
Very few attorneys specialize in appellate law because it is a complex and difficult practice area. An appellate attorney must have both exceptional legal writing and strong oral advocacy skills. The attorney must know how to analyze the trial record and filings for error and then select the evidence and arguments which give you the best chance on appeal.
Your attorney must be familiar with the complex appellate rules and to know how to write and format strong briefs. To be effective, the brief must concisely analyze the law as applied to the facts of your case, and persuade the appellate court to grant the relief you seek. A well written brief is critical to winning on appeal.
Experience at appellate oral argument is also essential. A common adage is that you rarely win an appeal during oral arguments, but you can very easily lose one. This is why it’s important that you hire an attorney who regularly appears before appellate courts, who can persuasively argue your case, and who can withstand rigorous questions under pressure.
How does hiring Ballew Covalt Hazen give me an edge for my appeal?
Our firm specializes in appellate work. We have won several high profile cases before the Nebraska Supreme Court and the Nebraska Court of Appeals that have changed Nebraska law.
Our attorneys and staff are proficient with the technical requirements of Microsoft Word and we excel at legal research. These skills enable us to be more efficient in researching and drafting your brief, saving you money while also giving you the best possible chance to win your appeal. We also have experience in presenting effective oral arguments before the appellate courts.
We are also skilled trial attorneys, both in general civil litigation and complex family law matters. So we understand the trial process well and can identify and articulate errors which occurred at the trial level. We understand the issues that can make or break an appeal.
Contact us today to set up a consultation with one of our appellate attorneys.