After a litigant has lost a case at the trial court level, the judgment of the court can be appealed. In Florida, the trial courts are the state’s circuit courts for most civil matters and felony criminal cases, and in some instances the county courts. The Florida District Courts of Appeal are empowered to hear appeals from these lower courts. For litigants who receive an unfavorable judgment at the trial court level, appealing the decision may offer the best path forward. In that instance, choosing the right appellate lawyer is a critical first decision.
Why Not Keep the Lawyer You Have?
This is usually the first decision a litigant has to make after losing at the trial level. There are pros and cons to staying with the attorney who handled the case at trial. On one hand, the trial attorney is already very familiar with the case and so won’t need any time to get “up to speed.” If a party has a good working relationship with the trial attorney and trusts their skills, then they may be best suited for the appeal. On the other hand, the skills that make a good trial attorney and the skills that make a good appellate attorney are not identical. The best appellate attorneys are the ones who have plenty of experience handling appeals, and can expertly craft a brief and reply. Trial lawyers may not have sufficient experience with appellate brief writing to be effective.
How Much Will This Cost?
This is often one of the first things that clients want to know. Unfortunately, it is more or less impossible to answer. The expenses related to an appeal are usually less than trial costs, as it is usually limited to printing and transcription expenses. Legal fees can be negotiated at an hourly rate, but many lawyers also do appeals on a flat-fee basis. A party should shop around and compare costs when considering which appellate attorney to hire.
Doran Sims Wolfe Ciocchetti & Yoon is a law firm with extensive experience handling appeals in Central Florida, Daytona Beach, and Volusia and Flagler counties. Our attorneys have handled appeals across a diverse range of practice areas. Call (386) 868-2157 for your free consultation today.