If you were injured in an accident, and the judge dismissed your case, you can appeal the decision to a higher court. Or perhaps you won a jury verdict, which the other party appealed, and you want to have the verdict upheld. Either way, our attorneys can help.
If you received an adverse ruling, don’t delay in speaking to an appellate attorney.
It is important to involve an appeals lawyer as early as possible, especially if post-trial motions need to be filed. Strategy is important at this stage, because good arguments can be waived if not properly raised at the post-trial phase. In many cases, such a motion needs to be filed within 10 days of the judge’s decision. So you should talk to an appeals attorney ASAP if you are considering an appeal.
After the trial judges’s final decision, you then have 30 days to appeal. This deadline cannot be ignored. If you file too late, then your right to appeal will be lost. Our appeals attorneys can discuss these important deadlines with you.
The appeal process has multiple stages. First, the appeal is started by filing a notice of appeal in the trial court. Second, a court reporter prepares the transcript, and the trial court clerk compiles the documents that have been filed. These documents as well as the transcript are then sent to the appeals court.
Third, the attorneys for each side file briefs with the appeals court arguing their positions. These briefs are very important because the court decides most cases based upon the briefs.
Fourth, the court may grant an oral argument. If allowed, this process simply involves the attorneys for each side arguing their case to a panel of judges. Unlike a trial, no additional evidence is taken. No witnesses are called. Instead, the court reviews the transcript and documents from the trial court proceedings to decide if the trial judge made a mistake. The argument only lasts an hour or less.
Fifth, the appellate court decides the case. This is done by written opinion.
You should expect the appeal process to take a year to a year and a half. Most cases will fall within this range. The preparation of the transcript and briefing phases takes about 6 to 8 months. The appeals court then has 270 days to issue a decision and generally takes most of that time.
That depends on the issue appealed. Often the appeal is from a summary judgment. In such cases, the appeals court reviews the case “de novo,” meaning the court will not defer to the trial court. The result, then, will simply depend on if the plaintiff presented enough evidence on all elements of her case. Summary judgments are disfavored, so it is probably fair to say as a general rule that it is easier to win if appealing a summary judgment, as compared to other types of appeals (for example, domestic relations cases where the appeals court defers to the trial court’s findings).
If the appeal is from a jury verdict, the party attempting to uphold the decision is usually at an advantage. That is because the appeals court will defer to a jury verdict (or to a judge’s ruling following a bench trial).
But these are generalities. Every case is different. You should contact an experienced appeals attorney to advise you about the merit of your case. The chances of success will always depend on the facts of your particular case.
If you are the party appealing, you must pay the filing fee of $200 plus the the cost of compiling the documents from the trial-court proceedings. The transcript and compilation of the record usually is 50 cents per page. Obviously, the more extensive the trial-court proceedings, the more this will cost. If the appeal is from a summary judgment, this expense is usually not very substantial compared to other cases—say, if there was a 3-day trial, in which case the transcript could be quite expensive.
As far as the attorney’s fees, our firm generally requires an up-front retainer and bills by the hour. The amount of the retainer varies on a case-by-case basis. Attorney John S. Grant IV has a decade of Mississippi appeals experience. He can provide a quote after discussing your case with you.
In personal injury or medical malpractice appeals, we will consider taking the case on a contingency fee, but understand that this is not the norm.
If you need representation on a personal injury or medical malpractice appeal, contact our experienced appeals attorneys today at (601) 827-3031.