Appeals

Sometimes in a criminal or divorce case, the decision isn’t what had been hoped for. This may be due to any number of reasons but it is often the result of a mistake made by a judge in permitting or not permitting certain evidence to be used or applying the wrong law to the case or, perhaps, misinterpreting the law. It happens more often than you would think.

When an attorney believes that may have happened, or that there is some other basis for asking a higher court to review the decision of the trial court, an appeal may be filed.

It is important for those involved in a criminal or civil matter to understand that the appellate process is significantly different than the process that may have just taken place in the trial court.

No evidence is presented in the appellate court. If it is a case in the Court of Appeals, there will be three judges deciding the case. The trial court judge does not participate. There will be no witnesses testifying.

In most cases, when an appeal is filed, the process involves only written arguments, based on in-depth legal research. Counsel has the right to request an opportunity to make oral arguments in front of the three judges to perhaps clarify a point of law or further explain why it is believed that the trial court made a mistake or make mistakes during the trial. At that time the judges can ask the lawyer questions it may have and the lawyer has an opportunity to respond to the judges’ questions.

This means your appeals lawyer will have only one shot at convincing the judges that your argument is well founded in both the facts and the law. It is crucial that your appellate attorney be skilled in finding the appellate issues that may have occurred in a trial (whether or not he/she was the trial attorney), legal research, preparing and writing the appellate brief, oral argument and persuasion. therefore highly important to work with an attorney who is skilled in legal research, can effectively interpret the law to your benefit, and can present compelling written and oral arguments.

Mr. Levin has successfully handled numerous cases in many Courts of Appeal in Ohio and the Ohio Supreme as well as in federal Courts of Appeal in jurisdictions around the United States. Many of these cases have set new legal standards.