Florida Appeals Lawyer

Litigation does not end when the jury returns its verdict. Once a trial court enters its final judgment, any of the parties may appeal if they are dissatisfied with the outcome. The appellate process can get quite complicated, and it involves a different skill-set than trial work. This is why you need an experienced Orlando appeal lawyer if you plan to take your case to a state or federal appeals court.

At DSK Law, our Florida appeals lawyers are qualified to handle appeals in both federal and Florida state appellate courts. We understand the procedures used by each type of court. And we will work hard to make your case to the appellate court in a thorough, professional manner.

How Does the Appeals Process Work in Florida?

In most litigation the losing party has at least one appeal “by right.” This means that an intermediate appellate court must take a look at your case and review any issues you bring to the judges’ attention. In Florida, the state judicial system is divided into five appellate districts, each with its own Court of Appeal. For example, if a case was tried in Orlando (Orange County), any appeal would be heard by the Fifth District Court of Appeal.

Most appeals are heard by three-judge panels, who decide any cases by majority vote. If a party disagrees with the panel’s decision, it may seek further review with the Florida Supreme Court. However, there is generally no appeal by-right at this stage. With a few exceptions, such as death penalty cases, the Supreme Court has the discretion to decide which appeals to hear.

If your case was initially tried in federal court there are different rules. Florida is divided into three federal judicial districts: Northern, Middle, and Southern. But appeals from all three districts go to the same intermediate court, the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, which also hears appeals from federal courts in Alabama and Georgia. Like state appellate courts, the 11th Circuit usually hears and decides appeals in three-judge panels. The losing side may then seek discretionary review with the U.S. Supreme Court.

Why You Need an Florida Appeals Lawyer

An appeal is not simply a re-run of the trial. Most of the actual appellate advocacy is done in the form of written briefs that explain what happened at the trial and, if you’re the party who appealed, what went wrong. In some appeals the court will permit brief oral arguments–often no more than 20 minutes–where the attorneys can answer any questions the judges might have about the case.

So as you can see, appellate work is highly specialized. It requires the ability to take months–and oftentimes years–of litigation and distill it down to the bare essentials for review by the appellate court. At DSK Law, we have attorneys who understand how this system works and who can build an effective appellate argument. Call us today if you need immediate advice or assistance with any appellate matter.

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