Legal Representation for Northern New Jersey

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What is needed with the appeals process?

Knowing what happens when appealing a case to a higher court can help people decide how to prepare.

When a ruling in a New Jersey court is contested by one of the parties involved, each person has a right to appeal the decision to a higher court. There are a number of things that are required of someone before their appeal for another hearing can be accepted. A person who is appealing is referred to in legal language as the appellant, while the other party in such a case is called the appellee. Knowing about the appeals process is important for anyone who wants their case to be heard by a court with higher authority.

Compiling a brief

Making a proper brief for a legal case requires attention to detail and a strong understanding of legal language, which can warrant the assistance of a lawyer. A brief summarizes the key events and outcomes reached in the previous case and hearing. Along with the brief, an appellant must list any relevant regulations, rules and statutes. The brief itself is required to have many elements, including the appellant's argument, stating of relevant facts, a jurisdictional statement, a corporate disclosure statement and more.

What happens during an appeal

What is on the line in an appeal hearing is whether the initial judgment will be affirmed or reversed. If it is reversed, the case can be remanded (sent back) to the initial trial court, which can be asked to reconsider the case taking additional evidence into light, directly modify the judgment or even go so far as to hold a completely new trial. If the appeals court affirms the initial court's decision, the appellant can either continue to attempt to appeal at higher courts or the case will end with the previous court's decision being enforced.

The point of an appeal is to argue that either the law was misinterpreted by the judge in the previous trial, or that there was one or more errors made in the procedure of the trial. It is not typical for new evidence or witnesses to be considered by an appeals court. Usually an appeal is not allowed after a verdict has been reached in a trial, and as such, appeals are typically placed before the actual trial begins. Only the defendant may appeal in a criminal case, whereas either party may appeal in a civil case.

Anyone in New Jersey who wants to explore appealing a case will have to compile a brief and organize the best possible argument in order for his or her appeal to be considered. An attorney in the local area who specializes in litigation and appeals may be able to help mount a successful appeal.