Law Offices of John E Cowan

Call Now To Speak To Us About Your Needs

(415) 870-3200

Law Offices of John E Cowan

A trial doesn’t have to be the end of a case. One or both of the parties may want to appeal a trial verdict or appeal certain aspects of the proceedings that they believe led the jury or judge to make the wrong decision. Asking a higher court to review a decision that has been made by a lower court or an administrative agency is an appeal. Attorneys who help clients pursue appeals in San Francisco, CA are called appellate attorneys.

What is the review process?

The appeals court reviews a lower court’s decision to determine whether they made a mistake. The appeals court does not hold a new trial or accept any new evidence. They can only look at the record from the lower court. Reviewing that record may involve reading a transcript, reviewing evidence, and analyzing the arguments of the parties. The higher court may also hear oral arguments, where they have the chance to ask questions of the appellate law attorneys arguing the case.

Sometimes, the issues for appeal in are obvious in San Francisco. Other times, an appellate law attorney needs to know how to spot potential issues and evaluate their legitimacy. A skilled California appellate law attorney must know how to identify the issues that could allow for an appeal. When an attorney advocate for a client to bring an appeal, they will compile all the necessary supporting documents.

What are administrative reviews?

Not all appellate cases start in a lower court. A lot of decisions from state and federal agencies take place in administrative hearings. If you are contesting a denial of disability benefits, you’ll start in front of an administrative hearing officer. If you don’t agree with the decision of that hearing officer, you have the right to bring an action in a court to review their decision or to hire an appellate law attorney in San Francisco, CA to do so for you. Sometimes, this will include a completely new trial with new evidence. Other times, the court will review the administrative record. Both types of hearings fall under appellate law.

What is the purpose of higher courts?

Appellate courts exist for multiple reasons. First, our lawmakers want citizens to have a uniform justice process throughout the country. They don’t want any one individual judge to hold too much power. Having an appeals process gives a litigant an avenue when a lower court doesn’t make the correct decision. The appeals process motivates trial judges to follow the laws.

Sometimes, judges make honest mistakes. The higher courts are here to step in and correct these errors. The opportunity to correct errors gives an impression of justice and fairness of law. Finally, higher courts interpret laws in ways that can impact society as a whole. When a lower court’s ruling might be significant to a large segment of the population, the higher courts may want to step in and set that policy. Then, the lower courts can take that policy and apply it freely in future decisions.

John Cowan, Esq.

Call Now To Speak To Us About Your Needs
(415) 870-3200

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