A Guide To Civil Appeals
At Hunker Appeals, our firm is dedicated to handling civil appeals with skill and dedication. We are led by a Florida board-certified specialist in appellate practice. This means we offer a unique degree of experience and knowledge in the complex field of appellate law.
What Is An Appeal?
In the United States, a civil appeal is a process by which a lower court’s decision is challenged.
Appeals are typically made because one of two situations occurred:
- The trial court misapplied the law or made an error in judgment.
- There were procedural errors affecting the case’s outcome.
If there are grounds for appeal, the party may file a petition with the appropriate appellate court, provided they do so within the applicable timeframe. An experienced appellate attorney from Hunker Appeals can assist in the complex processes involved.
Civil Appeals And Writs
A civil appeal involves challenging the lower court’s decision in a civil lawsuit (as opposed to a criminal case). A writ is a written order issued in the name of a court or other legal authority to act or refrain from acting in any way.
Here are some definitions of the types of appeals and writs you may need to be aware of:
- Interlocutory appeals: This type of appeal is a request for a trial court judgment made before the trial has been completed. It asks that an appeal court consider some aspect of the case before the trial is completed. If a judge decides to hear the case, interlocutory appeals might halt proceedings.
- Writ of certiorari: This discretionary order grants an appeal in a case where appellate review isn’t mandatory. It’s most commonly used by the Supreme Court of the United States in deciding which cases to take.
- Writ of prohibition: This prevents a lower court from proceeding in any matter over which the superior court has appellate jurisdiction. The purpose of this is to protect the jurisdiction of the higher court.
- Writ of mandamus: This compels a lower court to take action or make a decision on a certain issue or proceeding. Here are some cases where someone might file a petition for a writ of mandamus:
- To compel a lower court to rule on a motion submitted in the past where no action was taken
- To petition for the release of materials following a public records request
- To petition a lower court to rule in a case that was dismissed in error
As you can see, writs and appeals are complex. Our lawyers understand the intricacies of each type of writ.
Commercial Dispute Appeals
Disputes arising from contracts and other commercial disputes can be complicated and often lead to lengthy and costly legal battles. Some common issues that may lead to commercial disputes are:
- Breach of contract
- Trade secret misappropriation
- Fraud or misrepresentation
- Unjust enrichment
To appeal a lower court order in a commercial case, the appellant (appealing party) must show that there has been an error, whether legal or procedural, in the lower court proceedings.
Personal Injury Claim Appeals
Personal injury cases can involve motor vehicle accidents, premises liability, medical malpractice and many other types of cases. There may be multiple grounds to appeal a personal injury claim. As with other appeals, errors in interpretation or application of the law can warrant an appeal. So, too, can certain procedural mistakes. An error in the jury instructions may also be appealable.
Property Damage Claim Appeals
If you are not happy with the claim outcome for your property damage, you may have grounds for an appeal. These cases involve insurance coverage under various types of policies. When a dispute with the insurance company leads to litigation, one or both parties may end up appealing the outcome – especially in high-stakes cases involving significant sums of money.
Construction Defects And HOA/Condominium Association Dispute Appeals
Homeowners association disputes can stem from numerous situations. They might involve allegations of breach of fiduciary duty or improper application of the bylaws. Or, they may involve third parties, as in construction defect cases. Community association cases can impact both the quality of life of residents as well as their finances, so these cases often lead to appeals of the lower court decision.
Appellate Attorneys Can Provide Support Counsel At Trial
Our appellate attorneys at Hunker Appeals are available to provide litigation support at trial for clients and their trial counsel. We can help prevent erroneous trial rulings and preserve a strong record for appeal. We can also advise clients and their trial lawyers on options for challenging or upholding the lower court’s decision.
Why An Experienced Appellate Lawyer Matters
A civil appeal requires navigating a complicated and challenging process. They can involve complex legal and factual issues, which requires the attorney to have a deep understanding of the prior proceedings in the lower court.
An experienced appellate lawyer is crucial in high-stakes litigation. They should be knowledgeable about not only appeals but also all aspects of civil litigation, including motion practice, trial advocacy and settlement negotiations. Our team understands all facets of civil litigation, including the complicated process of appealing a legal decision.
Discuss Your Civil Appeal With A Member Of Our Firm
When you need an experienced lawyer to help with your civil appeal, contact Hunker Appeals. We handle appeals involving trial court decisions, administrative proceedings and a wide range of legal disputes. Based in Fort Lauderdale, we serve clients throughout Florida and Georgia.