Are You Ready to Appeal?
In appeals, timing is everything.
We’re always ready to help you, but first your case must be ready for appeal.
It may be true that the judge (or the other attorney) does a series of unfair things during the trial. But the law generally gives the judge until the end of the trial to fix those errors.
It’s up to your attorney to do the right things during the trial. He must give the judge notice of the errors, give the judge the chance to correct them, and do what is needed to make certain that the transcript of the trial records those errors.
When that is done, there is an “trial court record” that we must have in order to present your case to the various Colorado courts of appeal.
Here are some common questions and answers regarding appeals.
Q. Can I appeal rulings of lower courts such as County Courts?
A. Almost all rulings of every court or commission in Colorado are appealable. Each appellate process involving lower courts is much simpler than the higher courts, but can be equally important.
Q. Can I appeal criminal cases as well as civil cases?
A. Absolutely. The process is the same, regardless of the nature of the case being appealed. We do them all.
Q. If the other side appeals, will you represent me to defend that appeal?
A. Absolutely. We are happy to represent you and will work hard to convince the appellate court that the other side should not prevail against you.
Q. When should I get your attorneys involved in my case?
A. It is important that our attorneys become involved in your case as early as possible. We can even sit with your trial attorney during the trial, to assist him in making objections, identifying errors, and preserving errors for appeal. After the trial is over, we will work closely with your trial attorneys to position the case for best chance for a successful appeal. We will get a transcript of the testimony and proceedings of the trial so we can show the appellate court precisely what went wrong, and how it is unfair.
Q. Can I keep the attorney(s) I used for the trial?
A. Absolutely. We want to work alongside your trial attorney(s). We can seamlessly become a part of your existing legal team. We expect to return the case back to them after the appeal.
Q. When is my case ready for appeal?
A. A “final judgment” is required. If there are still some issues pending in the trial court, you may not have a “final judgment” yet. However, there can be some undecided matters, and the case can still be appealed.
Q. Are there some deadlines to getting an appeal filed?
A. You only have a limited time following that date of entry to get the appeal started. We need to be involved as early in the process as possible to make those short deadlines.
Q. What if the judge or the opposing attorney did many unfair things?
A. We need to pick only the most severe errors. Rules severely limit us regarding how long our filings can be on appeal. Not every error in court results in a successful appeal.
Q. What can I accomplish by an appeal?
A. On occasion, we can structure your appeal to achieve the end result you want achieved. The appeal courts can order a new trial, to stop a judgment that you are to pay money to the other side, and the like.
Q. Can I stop the other side from collecting money from me because of a bad ruling or judgment?
A. We can probably get that done, but the trial court will require you post a bond. We can help you arrange that part, too.
Q. Can I stop the judgment that the trial court just entered from being enforced during my appeal?
A. We can probably get that done as well. Again, the trial court will require you to post a bond.
Q. How long does an appeal normally take?
A. There are normally two levels of appeal. The first level of appeals from trails in the District Courts is to the Colorado Court of Appeals. The appellate process will likely take between two and three years from the beginning, to the rendering of the Opinion by the Court of Appeals. There are several events that must happen during that time, but the vast majority of our time will not be billed, because we are simply waiting on things that the other side, or the court, must do. If the Court of Appeals renders a judgment that is also in error, or conflicts with other judgments of other panels of the Court of Appeals on the same issues, the Colorado Supreme Court may accept the case. If they do, then the appellate process begins again, but is somewhat easier because all the briefing has already happened. Appeals in the Colorado Supreme Court normally take approximately two years from the time that they accept the case. Again, there is significant work for appellate attorneys to do, but there is a very large amount of “down time” as we wait for the actions of the other attorneys, or the court.