Appellate law, also known as the appeals process, is the system of rules and procedures used by higher courts (such as the North Carolina Supreme Court and the North Carolina Court of Appeals) to review judgments previously entered by lower trial courts. These appeals occur when one of the parties involved in the case claims an error was made in the trial court's decision or process. What makes appellate law unique is that appellate courts do not have a jury and do not evaluate guilt, innocence, or liability – but they do evaluate whether the trial court made any mistakes in interpreting and applying the law or in legal procedure.
We have handled appellate cases on behalf of numerous clients before the North Carolina Supreme Court, the North Carolina Court of Appeals, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. We even have an attorney who is a North Carolina Board Certified Specialist in Appellate Practice, Jon Ward. (There are less than 40 attorneys who are Board Certified in appellate practice in North Carolina.)
Our attorneys understand how to effectively prepare appellate cases because we have consistently done so – and our clients benefit from our experience. In most of our practice areas, we have represented both clients bringing suit and those facing claims, which enables us to look at an appellate case from a well-rounded perspective and develop a more effective approach for each client. While most of our appellate practice involves cases in which we have been involved at the trial level, our attorneys also have experience stepping into cases for or with other law firms when they reach the appeals stage.
Appellate cases are often won or lost based upon an attorney's ability to craft persuasive and solid legal arguments to present to the higher courts, along with extensive research and comprehensive knowledge of the legal principles involved. Our firm presents such arguments and undertakes such legal research, and we have the knowledge and experience that will increase the chances of our clients prevailing on appeal.