Appellate Litigation – Civil and Criminal

Absent a settlement, the general rule in litigation is "winner takes all." As such, one party is often very happy with the outcome, and the other party is very sad. Not surprisingly, the loser quite often believes the judgment or verdict unfair and wants it reviewed by a higher court. The loser has the right to seek review by a higher court of the decision or verdict. Enter the world of appellate practice and procedure. No further discovery or admission of new evidence is allowed. The appellate record consists entirely of what was presented in the court below. The issues that may be presented on the appeal are limited to any that appear in the record.  Appeals are typically decided by panels of judges (the size of the panel depends on the court hearing the matter) that rely on typewritten briefs and oral argument presented by counsel for each of the parties.

While a few appellate courts (e.g., in New York State) have interest of justice jurisdiction to make de novo findings of fact, most are considered law courts and may only entertain questions of law; and even those courts that do have interest of justice jurisdiction exercise it sparingly. That is why it is critical to have an experienced appellate attorney perfect your direct appeal, an attorney who knows the arcane rules of appellate procedure, knows what issues are likely to constitute reversible error, and knows the appellate judges and their personalities.

Mr. Brenner and Mr. Langone are highly qualfied and experienced appellate litigators.