How to Choose the Right Appeal Attorney


When it comes to the criminal appeal process the type of representation you choose can make the difference between severe penalties and a successful outcome. To win in the appellate courts requires a strong legal team that will stop at nothing to overturn the conviction. In this article, I will be breaking down how to choose a criminal appeal lawyer that will successfully win your case.

Let’s jump in.

What does an appeal lawyer do?

Appeal lawyers fight to protect those who did not receive a fair trial and were incorrectly convicted or sentenced as a result. They carefully examine their clients’ original trial for any mistakes or errors that they can use to overturn the court’s decision and ensure that their client receives a fair judgment.

Learn about the appeal process

The appeal process can be split into 9 main steps:

  1. File a Notice of Appeal – This document states the nature of the appeal and notifies the court that an appeal has been filed.
  2. Obtain a Trial Transcript- The court reporter will prepare the full transcript of your original case for your appeals lawyer to review and examine. The trial transcript provides a word-for-word record of what was said during the trial.
  3. Submit the Opening Brief– Your appeals lawyer has 45 days to write and file an opening brief describing what happened at trial, why the decision was wrong, and why the court should reverse the trial court’s decision.
  4. The Respondent’s Brief- The respondent, or opposing counsel, will plead their case and show that no error was made.
  5. Reply to the Brief- Your appeal lawyer is given the chance to respond to the respondent’s brief.
  6. Prepare Oral Arguments- Either party may request to orally present their case to a higher court.
  7. The Appeal Decision- A panel of judges will deliberate and make a final decision.
  8. Request a Rehearing (If Applicable)- If the appellate court does not decide in your favor, your lawyers may request a rehearing from that court within 14 days of the decision.
  9. Request a Review (If Applicable)- You can also submit a request for the supreme court to review your case. 

What arguments can be used on appeal?

When building their case, appeal lawyers look for any mistakes in their client’s original trial that can be used as strong arguments on appeal.

The Southern California criminal appeals attorneys at Spolin Law P.C. are aware of thousands of arguments that can be used to overturn a conviction. Some of the most common arguments used in appeals cases are:

  • Ineffective Assistance of counsel – You can argue ineffective assistance of counsel if you believe your attorney’s poor performance unfairly impacted the outcome of your case.
  • Improper admission of character evidence – Under California and federal law, evidence of a person’s character is not admissible to prove that on a certain occasion, that person acted in accordance with their character or trait. If such evidence was improperly admitted into your case, you can use this argument to appeal the court’s decision.
  • Improperly excluded witness – You are legally entitled to present relevant evidence during your trial, which includes witnesses’ testimony. You can use this argument to appeal if a judge improperly excluded a witness from your trial who could’ve testified on your behalf.

To learn more about effective appeal arguments, check out eals/.

How important is choosing an appeals attorney with experience and skill?

When filing for an appeal, the type of representation you chose could mean the difference between freedom and imprisonment. The appeals process can be long and complicated, which is why it’s important that you have a qualified and knowledgeable attorney to walk you through every step.

The attorneys at Spolin Law P.C. have been on the winning side of hundreds of criminal cases and have litigated matters up to the United States Supreme Court. Their unwavering dedication and legal expertise have made Spolin Law P.C. one of the leading criminal appeals firms in the country and a great source for any appeal assistance you may need.

If you believe that you or a loved one have been unfairly convicted, reach out to Spolin Law. Let us assess the circumstances and counsel you on your next steps forward. You can call us at (866) 606-7992 or send an email to [email protected]

Author Bio: Written by Ester K, working with Deepak Shukla and a sales and Public Relations (PR nerd), obsessed with research, sleeping in as much as possible, and listening to podcasts. When I am not at home with my fam I enjoy long walks through the beautiful city of Jerusalem.

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