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What Do Appellate Attorneys Do?

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Video: What Do Appellate Attorneys Do?

FAQ’s With Roy Oppenheim

Full Transcript:

Hi, Roy Oppenheim here. Sometimes we get questions about what do appellate attorneys do. And I want to discuss a little bit, what the appellate process is about and when we would seek an appeal. First of all, if you go to trial and you have that kind of a case, and whether you are the plaintiff, meaning the party that’s bringing the action, or if you’re the defendant, the one who’s defending the action, you’ll have either a trial by jury or a trial by a judge, and you’ll get a verdict.

You’ll get a decision, you’ll get a court order. Once that decision is final, you, as the plaintiff or the defendant, may not like the decision that the court ruled or what the jury ruled, so you have the right to appeal that decision. The way you appeal or challenge that decision is by going to the next court, the higher court. And that higher court will then review your case because you will have your lawyer, whether you’re the plaintiff or the defendant, or the other side, the plaintiff or the defendant, each side will submit briefs to the appellate court and basically ask the court to consider the merits of the case.

Are You Bringing The Appeal?

If you’re the one bringing the appeal, that means that you didn’t like the decision of the court, meaning that you probably lost. And if you lost, you want to win. And so you’re going to ask the court to reverse themselves or in the alternative, to ask the lower court to reconsider the whole thing because the whole case was unfair. So, if you’re the one who lost, then the side who wins has to defend themselves saying, “No, the case was fair, and the decision that the lower court made is fair. We want that case, that decision to remain a record and that the appeal should be dismissed.”

What Do Appellate Attorneys Do?

What Do Appellate Attorneys Do?

So whether you won the case and you’re defending the appeal or you lost the lower court case and you are actually bringing the appeal, appellate lawyers are the ones who actually are involved in that process. And then the appellate court has many choices. The appellate court can simply say, “We agree with the lower court’s decision,” which happens about two-thirds of the time in general. Or a third of the time, they’ll say, “No, lower court got it wrong, and then you got it so wrong that the other side should win,” or many times they’ll say, “You know, you got it wrong.

But I’m sending it back to you because you have to redo it,” and so it’s almost like a do-over. And so a lot of times, the appellate court says, “No, a do-over,” and sometimes they say, “No, the wrong side actually won.” And so, kind of like in a football game, a lot of times, you have a down that has to be redone because there was a flag.

And so if there’s a flag, there’s a do-over and the play has to be redone. When in fact, the appellate court says, “No, the wrong side won,” that’s kind of a different kind of scenario because like in football, if either one side scored or the other side scored, there’s no situation where one side scored and then really the other side scored.

But, you do have other games where it’s really close, like maybe in fencing for example, where two folks actually come together and the judges say, “No, you hit first,” and then on appeal or on our video, you realize the other side hit first. And so you couldn’t not in a close situation possibly have a case where the nature of the game actually switches who won.

And so, that’s what appeals are, and that’s what appellate lawyers do, and hope that answers your questions.

Oppenheim Law | Appellate Attorneys Fort Lauderdale
2500 Weston Rd #404
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33331