What is Appellate Practice?
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Lewis S. ”Mike” Eidson Describes the Importance of Appeals Lawyers
The appellate courts are an integral part of the civil justice system. If your case does not end the way you want, there is always the option to appeal to a higher court. Likewise, the other side might appeal the court’s decision if it sides with you. In either case, an appellate attorney is crucial for re-examining a case and determining its value based exclusively on the facts. Lewis S. “Mike” Eidson explains how his firm handles appeals.
We have an appellate practice. We have two attorneys that do nothing but appeals, and we have two other attorneys that handle appeals. We have lawyer’s lawyers; that’s what I call those. Those are the lawyers that once you win your case don’t know how to handle an appeal. Appeals are based on a written brief. You take the facts from that case that’s been decided by the jury or a judge, you can have a non-jury case, and then you take that and you appeal to a three judge – most district courts in this country are three judges. You write your brief and you make all your legal arguments, and you’re saying that your evidence fits a certain legal category and therefore you’re entitled to win.
The other side tries to find cases that support their position. We call it precedent; precedence what has been decided before by other judges in cases with similar facts … And if you really believe in your case, you can ask the judge to change the law. You have to have a good faith basis for that.
Appellate practice is something that we do for lawyers, where they get a verdict or they lose their case, and they want us to reverse that or they want us to sustain their verdict. So, we’ve got six or eight of those going on in our firm. We handle our own appeals for our own cases and we handle appeals for other law firms.