Everything You Need To Know About Federal Appellate Court

You can benefit from attorney representation during the federal appellate court process. Contact Conklin Law to book an appointment with us today.

Overview of the Federal Appellate Court

Individuals have the right to appeal their judgments to an appeals court. The appellate court then reviews the initial court’s decision and can modify, reverse, or uphold the original ruling. In some cases, the appeals court may also issue a new or order a new trial.

In the federal system, there are 13 courts of appeals. Georgia lies within the 11th Federal Court Circuit. The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals reviews cases from Georgia Federal District courts and the Federal District courts in Alabama and Florida.

This guide discusses how the federal appeals court works and how they are structured. For more information on the federal appeals court, contact Conklin Law today to speak with an appeal attorney.

Jurisdiction of the Federal Appellate Court

There are three levels of federal courts in the United States court system. These are district courts (trial courts), circuit courts (the first appeals courts), and the Supreme Court (the final appeals court). Ninety-four (94) district courts, 13 circuit courts, and one Supreme Court serve the nation.

In a federal court, cases can only be heard if they are authorized by the Constitution or federal statute, so they have limited jurisdiction. In addition to hearing cases involving constitutional rights, disputes between states, and federal government involvement, federal courts also hear cases involving admiralty and maritime law, bankruptcy, patents, and copyrights.

The federal courts also exercise diverse jurisdiction in civil matters. Diversity jurisdiction allows federal courts to hear cases that involve parties from different states. This jurisdiction is essential for resolving disputes between parties that cannot easily be resolved in state courts. A defendant can also seek to remove a case from state court. Plaintiffs must be located in different states than defendants, and the “amount in controversy” must be more than $75,000 to bring a state law claim in federal court.

In criminal cases, only the federal government may only bring prosecutions in federal courts., State governments may only prosecute in state courts.

Type of Appeals

There are typically three types of appeals recognized under the federal court system. These are direct appeals, discretionary appeals, and interlocutory appeals.

Direct Appeals (Appeal as A Matter of Right)

Direct appeal is a legal process in which an appeals court reviews lower court decisions and orders. Unsatisfied parties, as a matter of right, can file direct appeals after the trial court has issued its judgment.

Discretionary appeal

A discretionary appeal refers to a type of appeal in which the appellate court has the power to decide whether the appeal should be reviewed. With these appeals, appellate courts can decide which issues to hear.

In most discretionary appeals, the appealing party must file an applicatoin with the appellate court. Applications for discretionary review are granted if:

  • Reversible errors appear to exist.
  • The establishment of precedent is desirable.
  • Further law development is desirable, like in divorce cases.

Interlocutory Appeals

An interlocutory appeal is an appeal that can interrupt a court proceeding before its conclusion. It occurs when a ruling made by a trial court is appealed prior to a trial occurring. In the federal and state courts, interlocutory appeals are only permitted under certain circumstances.

The Federal Appeals Process

The party appealing is known as the appellant. The other side is known as the appellee or the respondent.

If an appellant wishes to appeal a ruling, sentence, or conviction, they must first file a notice of appeal in the district court where the case was initially heard. Unlike the appellate brief or argument, the notice of appeal only informs the court of the defendant’s intent to appeal the sentence or conviction.

Civil appeals must typically be filed with the district clerk within 30 days of the entry of the judgment or order appealed. Defendants must appeal their criminal convictions within 14 days of the date of their conviction.

Your federal appeals attorney prepares a written brief for the appellate court. This summarizes the facts of the proceedings below. The brief identifies legal errors and how they affected the final judgment. The appellee or respondent’s brief responds to the brief filed by the opposing side. The court will then review the two briefs, the trial court records, and make a decision. If the court favors the appellee or respondent, the final judgment will be upheld.

In some circumstances, the appellate court can allow the presentation of oral arguments. The federal judges will then reach a decision and issue it in writing. If the verdict favors the appellant, they may receive a new trial or be acquitted. However, if the decision goes against them, their conviction remains intact.

Federal appeals: Acceptable Reasons for Appealing

Possible reasons an appellate lawyer from Cocklin Law can request an appeal in federal court include the following:

  • Inadequate representation by your trial lawyer
  • Improper admission of evidence at trial
  • Incorrect or illegal application of the law by the judge
  • Prosecutorial misconduct
  • Juror misconduct

Possible Outcomes of an Appeal

Generally, the Appeals courts can decide cases as follows:

  • The appellate court can affirm the original decision made by the lower court. The lower court’s decision will stand, and the ruling will become final.

  • The appellate court can modify the original decision. This occurs when the court believes the district court’s ruling was incorrect but not entirely.

  • Reverse a decision with or without a retrial permitted.

  • Return the case to the trial judge for more information.

You can petition the United Supreme Court if dissatisfied with the circuit appellate court’s decision. However, the United States Supreme Court accepts a very limited number of cases.

The Role of Appellate Lawyers

Appellate lawyers play a critical role in the federal appeals process. They specialize in appellate practice and are skilled in crafting arguments that elucidate legal errors made in the lower court’s decision. An appellate lawyer is responsible for scrutinizing the trial court record, identifying legal missteps, and presenting these findings in the appellate brief.

In addition to written advocacy, appellate lawyers may also present oral arguments before the appellate court. This gives them the opportunity to further elaborate on the points made in their brief and to answer any questions posed by the appellate judges. The lawyer’s expertise in legal research, analytical thinking, and persuasive argumentation can significantly influence the court’s decision.

Appellate lawyers also guide their clients through the complex appellate process, advising on strategy and managing client expectations. They ensure the appeal is filed within the stipulated timeline and conforms to the procedural rules of the appellate courts. Their role is crucial in seeking a favorable outcome for their clients in the federal appeals process.

For more information on federal appellate courts and the appeals process, it is important to consult with an experienced appellate lawyer. They can provide valuable insights and guidance to navigate the complex legal system and increase your chances of success in your appeal.

Get Help from Conklin Law Today

The federal appeals process is often complex and time-consuming. It can involve multiple rounds of pleadings, appeals, and oral arguments. The process can take months or years to complete.

If you plan to appeal your case, speaking with an experienced lawyer who is familiar with the process is crucial. An experienced lawyer can help you determine whether your case has valid grounds for appeal.

Our attorneys at Conklin Law will thoroughly review your case to spot errors in your case and determine if you have valid grounds for an appeal. Our attorneys will craft a compelling argument on your behalf and present it to the federal circuit court. We will also represent you in court and answer any questions you may have. We will do everything we can to ensure you receive the best possible outcome.

Contact us today to arrange a consultation with a highly respected criminal appeals lawyer in Atlanta.

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