There are a variety of benefits of appealing a negative outcome in court. For that reason, litigants who wish to appeal should be familiar with what that process looks like and the potential benefits of appealing an unfavorable decision.
Not a new trial
It is important to understand what an appeal is. An appeal is not a new trial and new evidence will not be presented. During the appeals process, mistakes or legal errors that occurred during the trial process may be presented. This could be in the context of a criminal appeal or appealing an unfavorable outcome in family law or divorce court. Because a lot can ride on a criminal trial or divorce trial, it may be worth it to consider appealing an unfavorable decision.
How to appeal
Once the decision to appeal has been carefully considered and made, a notice of an appeal must be made. In addition, there are important timelines associated with appeals to be familiar with. Each side then prepares a brief which will include arguments supporting, or opposing, the appeal for the appellate court to consider. The appellant will focus on the court record, court procedures, motions that were made at trial, orders, jury instructions, and case law as a basis for arguing that some error at trial was committed.
The appeals process does not address facts as they were decided at trial. An appellate brief may question evidence admitted at trial, flaws in arguments made at trial, procedural errors, jury selection or jury instruction errors as well as the decision or verdict itself.
When mistakes may have been made during the trial phase, it may be worth it to be familiar with the appeals process and what an appeal may be able to accomplish for the appellant. Litigants impacted by an unfavorable court decision or verdict should be familiar with their appeals rights and what an appeal might be able to do for them and their situation. In other words, if you have lost in court, you may have another chance.