As someone who just lost a civil or criminal case in Illinois, it is imperative that you hire an experienced and highly respected appellate attorney. Considering there are deadlines for attorneys to get written briefs submitted to the appeals court, there is no time to waste. With the right attorney working alongside you, there is a good chance of getting the verdict from your trial dismissed or, at a minimum, getting a new trial.
An appellate attorney focuses on finding errors of the law, whether by the judge or possibly your trial attorney. Either way, the purpose of filing an appeal is to get a higher court to review those mistakes and determine if their severity was enough to cause you an unjust outcome. At all court levels, including state, federal, and the U.S. Supreme Court, attorneys must follow strict rules. For the best chance of winning an appeal, it is critical that you hire the right appellate attorney.
·Experience – Appellate attorneys specialize in a unique area of the law. Not only do they write compelling briefs used to persuade judges to review cases, they also give verbal arguments as to why their clients deserve a different outcome. When searching for the right attorney, experience matters. Through years of working with clients on civil and criminal appeals, a qualified attorney can hone in on errors of the law quickly. They also choose the most prominent issues to influence the results of the appeals court.
·Legal Arena – When looking at the experience of appellate attorneys, make sure it is specific to appeals rather than other areas of the law. For instance, if you hire a lawyer with 20 years of legal experience but only one of those has to do with appeals, you may not achieve the desired outcome. The right attorney will not only have years of experience appealing cases but also deal exclusively with appeals.
·Number of Cases – Along with the number of years an attorney worked on appeals, ask how many cases that individual won. That way, you can better calculate the lawyer’s success rate. Attorneys with a record of success will have no problem sharing that information, as they are proud of their accomplishments.
·Pricing – Although the price you pay for an appellate attorney is important, it is not the most critical factor. You want someone who knows the proper way of putting together a written brief so that the judges in the appeals court feel persuaded to correct the decision from the trial.
The best appellate attorney will bring a fresh perspective to the situation. With someone new reading documents and going over details, it is easier to spot errors. If your attorney gets the chance to present an oral argument, one or more judges will ask questions, request clarification, and gather other information that could help your case.
Because appellate attorneys know what judges want to see and hear, they avoid presenting irrelevant information and go right to what matters most. As a result, there is a good chance of getting a favorable decision from the appeals court.
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