When your case doesn’t go the way you want, your first instinct may be to appeal the trial court’s decision. However, not every client understands what an appeal can and cannot do. It is important when making the decision to appeal that you have all the information you need to make the best choice for you. Dashner Law Firm would like to dispel the top myths surrounding appeals.
Myth #1: An Appeal is a Retrial
Despite the wide misconceptions, an appeal is not another trial. In fact, the court of appeals is completely different from a trial court. Instead of one judge, there are three judges who will not hear any witnesses, evidence, or have a jury in the courtroom. Your attorney will write a long appellate brief that will state your argument. There is typically a short oral argument that your attorney will make in front of the appellate court. Appellate judges are not there to decide who should have won your case, but rather if there was an error made during your trial.
Myth #2: You Can Appeal to the Supreme Court
While you have to appeal to get the Supreme Court, you have no right to have your case to be heard by either the state or federal Supreme Court. They are incredibly selective in the cases they choose to hear, and there is a minuscule chance that your case will be chosen.
Myth #3: You Don’t Have to Pay a Judgment
If you have lost a civil suit, you may have to pay a judgment. Many clients believe by filing an appeal, they don’t have to pay the judgment. However, the filing of the appeal doesn’t prevent the other side from collecting.
The appealing party may be required to post a bond to guarantee the ability to collect after the appeal if the judgment is affirmed. That will allow the accrual of interest on the judgment during the appeal process. If you have questions regarding your judgment, it’s best to speak to your attorney.