An appeal is something that only happens after there has been a trial. If one side or the other thinks that the trial judge made a legal error in conducting the trial, they may take an appeal. Often, the lawyer who handles the appeal is the same lawyer who handled the trial. There are certainly trial lawyers who are equally skilled in appellate litigation, but there are many more who are not.
An appeal is very different than a trial and requires a different set of skills. Appeals do not involve presenting evidence, evaluating witness testimony, proving damages or making jury arguments. Instead, they require detailed analysis of legal precedent, thorough research, scholarly legal argument, and most importantly- the ability to write logically, concisely and persuasively. The research and writing component of an appeal is extremely time-consuming. There is also a completely different set of procedural rules, and the consequence for non-compliance may be dismissal of the appeal.
In today’s specialized age, many lawyers choose to concentrate their practices in areas where they are particularly knowledgeable. If you are a lawyer who does not customarily handle appeals, it is a good idea to consider bringing in appellate counsel. This is especially true where you need to prevail on appeal to keep a hard-fought trial verdict. This ensures experienced, skilled advocacy on appeal and lets you devote your time to your litigation practice.
We regularly handle appeals in injury and, to a far lesser extent, in other civil cases. Our lawyers have handled appeals in the Court of Appeals of Maryland, the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. We have broad experience briefing issues such as the borrowed servant doctrine in worker’s compensation cases, the boulevard rule, the scope of confirmation of arbitration awards, jury selection and evidentiary rules, interpreting Maryland statutes involving insurance and venue, and obtaining discovery from expert witnesses. We evaluate each case on its own merits, and will consider contingent, hourly, or flat rate fee arrangements.
We handle only appeals that were originally handled by a plaintiffs’ lawyer. Call us at 800-553-8082 or click here for a free consultation via the Internet.