Appeals

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How long does a federal appeal take?

In most cases, a federal appeal will take over a year before the final judgement is entered. The federal court system is a complex system governed by the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure. In these rules are specific deadlines for everything from the initial filing of the appeal to how long the judges have to enter their decision. If you have ever been involved in litigation, you were most likely warned by the lawyers that litigation is long, emotional, and messy. When a federal appeal is warranted, the case may take even longer.

In most cases, a federal appeal will take over a year before...

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If I appeal a court’s decision, will the appeal delay the judgment?

If you file an appeal of a judgment against you, keep in mind that your appeal does not necessarily prevent that judgment from being carried out. While the legal system gives parties an opportunity to appeal a judgment, it does not desire to do so as an avenue to avoid payment or sentencing. In order to postpone your judgment during an appeal, you must be granted a stay of judgment by a judge.

If you file an appeal of a judgment against you, keep in min...

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How expensive is an appeal?

You've just paid out large sums of money for a full civil trial. You're afraid to look at the bill from your your attorney and the judgment amount makes you cringe. While you may be ready to throw in the towel and make the necessary payment arrangements, there may be one more step to take if you feel you've been robbed of a fair verdict. The question is, how much will it cost to appeal your case?

You've just paid out large sums of money for a full civil tr...

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Can parties join a case at the appeals stage?

In order to ensure court efficiency and equal handed decisions, the court allows parties to join in even at the appeals stage where necessary. However, scenarios where people may join in appeals are limited to amicus curiae and joinder.

In order to ensure court efficiency and equal handed decisio...

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What is the effect of denying petition for certiorari by the Supreme Court of the United States?

The denial of a Petition for Certiorari (aka Cert Petition) by the Supreme Court in a federal case means the decision of the Court of Appeals stands as the final decision. This does not mean that the Supreme Court either agrees or disagrees with the decision of the Court of Appeals, only that the case will not be reviewed. If the petition is denied, it has significance to the parties in the case, but it does not necessarily impact other cases.

The denial of a Petition for Certiorari (aka Cert Petition) ...

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Should I appeal the trial court’s decision in my case?

The decision to appeal a case rests on several factors. The most realistic factor to consider is the extended length of time the case will consume and the emotional strain you will experience if you appeal. On average, most civil cases take two to three years for completion in the courts. An appeal will typically take another full year, and might not receive the verdict desired.

The decision to appeal a case rests on several factors. The ...

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When does it make sense to hire an attorney to represent you in an administrative hearing?

navigating the government's administrative agencies can be nearly impossible at times. While some administrative agencies such as the Veteran's Affair's Office have straightforward forms and timely responses, others, like the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), require inside connections in order to effectively pass anything through. For those more difficult agencies, an attorney should at least be consulted if not retained. An attorney will draft your appeal in a light that is most favorable to your side and present prior precedent to make compelling arguments. The administrative agency appeals hearings are typically before three to five agents of that agency. These agents will pose questions about the appeal filing.

navigating the government's administrative agencies can be n...

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Can I appeal the decision in a civil matter?

The question of whether a case outcome can be appealed depends primarily on the type of case and the court where the case was heard. Criminal cases have a Constitutional appeal by right, whereas some civil and administrative cases can not be appealed. When determining whether your case can be appealed, the first person you should consult is your trial attorney.

The question of whether a case outcome can be appealed depen...

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How many judges hear an appeal in federal court?

Three judges normally are assigned to decide each federal appeal, except under certain circumstances. If two of the three judges agree on the decision on the appeal, that becomes the decision of the federal appeals court. Very rarely, the federal appeals court will grant a motion for rehearing the appeal (by the same three judges) or a rehearing 'en banc', by all or most of the active judges on that particular Circuit Court of Appeals.

Three judges normally are assigned to decide each federal ap...

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What is the role of the United States Supreme Court?

The Supreme Court of the United States is the 'highest' court in the land. It has ultimate authority to hear appeals in nearly all cases decided in the federal court system. It can also hear certain 'appeals' from state high appellate courts that involve a 'federal question,' such as an issue involving a federal statute or arising under the Constitution of the United States. However, fewer than 100 cases are actually heard and decided by the Supreme Court in one year.

The Supreme Court of the United States is the 'highest' cour...

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Can any lawyer argue a case before the U.S. Supreme Court?

Any U.S. lawyer who has been an active member of a state bar for three years and is currently in good standing with that state's bar is eligible to apply for admission to the bar of the Supreme Court of the United States. Lawyers must fill out the application form and attach a certificate of good standing from a clerk or officer of the highest court in the state where the lawyer is admitted to the bar.

Any U.S. lawyer who has been an active member of a state bar...

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How does the Supreme Court decide to hear a case?

The Supreme Court decides to hear a case based on at least four of the nine Justices of the Supreme Court agreeing to grant the Petition for Certiorari. If four Justices agree to grant the petition, the Supreme Court will consider the case. A Petition for Certiorari is granted in very, few selected cases—fewer than 100 a year, by the Supreme Court of the United States.

The Supreme Court decides to hear a case based on at least f...

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How do you appeal in federal court?

The very first step in appealing a federal district court decision is filing a notice of appeal with the clerk of the district court. Strict deadlines apply to the filing of the notice of appeal – usually 30 days for civil cases and just 10 for federal criminal cases. For some cases in which the federal government is a party, the deadline may be as much as 45 days, but make sure to check this requirement closely. The clock starts running on the day that the district court judge enters the final judgment in the district court trial.

The very first step in appealing a federal district court de...

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