Popovich Law Firm, P.A. 

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    Basic Appeal Information for District Courts of Appeals

What is an appeal?

An appeal is a review by the higher court of the lower court's rulings for mistakes of law that occurred at the trial level. Appellate courts do not retry cases or hear new evidence. The appellate court's function is to review what happened at the trial level and determine whether proper procedures were adhered to and proper laws were applied by the trial court.   


How do you appeal a case?

An appeal begins with the timely filing of a notice of appeal in the lower court. The party appealing is designated as the "Appellant."  The appellant has the burden and duty to ensure that the appellate record contains all relevant materials transferred from the lower court for the appellate court's review on appeal.          


What are the grounds for an appeal?

The grounds for an appeal generally involve errors of law by the trial court.  These errors may involve procedural errors or substantive law errors which prejudiced the appealing party.           


What happens on appeal?

An appellate panel typically reviews and decides upon claimed errors of law by the trial court. The appellate panel consists of three judges chosen randomly from a pool of available appellate judges in the district court.   


What is involved in the appeal process?

Generally, the parties submit briefs on the merits for review by the appellate court. A party may request oral argument or the appellate court may require oral argument. After submission of the parties' respective briefs, and following oral argument if had, the appellate court then decides on the merits appealed.    


How long does it take to obtain a decision on appeal?

It typically takes an appellate court five months to a year before it renders a decision. If the appellate court is reversing the trial court based on an error at the trial level, the appellate court will issue a written opinion explaining its decision.  If the appellate court affirms the trial court it may choose not to issue a written opinion.