Cecil County Appeals Lawyer

Two underappreciated facts about the legal system in Cecil County are that a case does not end at the close of a trial, and appealing a case is typically exactly like the trial.

The real fight in certain cases may begin at the end of the trial when the appeal could be lodged. Having a seasoned Cecil County appeals lawyer to navigate the complexities of the appellate process is often essential for success. Speak to a criminal defense attorney about appealing your case.

Trial Court Vs Appellate Court

Both the state and federal courts in Cecil County follow a three-tiered system. The first tier is the trial court, where cases are first heard and argued, and where trials take place in impressive-looking courtrooms in front of a judge and jury. Trials aim to determine exactly what happened in a case and then apply the relevant law to the circumstances.

The second tier in this system is for the Court of Appeals – or the Fourth Circuit in the case of federal courts – while the third tier is for the Supreme Court. Both tiers are appellate courts since cases only come before them through the process of appealing a lower court’s ruling. The aim of these appellate courts is to review what happened in court in the tier below and could determine if a mistake was made.

There are a lot of differences between a trial court and an appellate court. The most basic difference between the two is that an appellate court is limited to the evidence that was presented during the trial court’s proceedings – absent exigent circumstances, no new evidence is allowed on appeal. A Cecil County appeals attorney could explain how appellate courts differ from trial courts.

How Appeals are Different

Handling an appeal is drastically different from handling a trial since trial courts and appellate courts focus on different things. While trial lawyers focus on amassing favorable evidence and keeping unfavorable evidence out of court, an appeals attorney in Cecil County typically operate in a closed universe as all of the available evidence is already in.

While trial lawyers focus their attention on factual determinations to show what happened in a case, appeals attorneys in Cecil County know that their job is different. They spend far more time on the nuances of the law that was applied by a lower court to show that the judge was mistaken and could be overturned.

This shift in focus from questions of fact to questions of law is reflected in the different procedures used by appellate courts in Cecil County. While trial courts may culminate in a jury trial to determine what happened, appellate courts typically rely on extensive briefing and legal writing before turning to oral arguments at the end.

The Value of a Cecil County Appeals Attorney

Since the procedures and goals of an appellate court in Cecil County are so different from those of a trial court, the skill set you may need in an attorney is also different. Some of the best trial lawyers could be lost in what they see as the nitpicking process of appeals while many appeals lawyers are frustrated by the breadth and uncertainty of trial work.

Having an appeals attorney on hand to see your case through the Cecil County appellate courts may be essential. This may be notably true if the central issue in your case is an unsettled area of law.

Bringing an appellate attorney on board early in the process may also be beneficial, as it allows the appeals attorney to set up the trial process in a way that makes the appellate stage more likely to succeed. Contact a Cecil County appeals lawyer today for a consultation.