As a general rule, just about every case can be appealed. However, there are some explanations and definitions that guide the process of appeal. These help to weed out any cases that should have never been appealed to begin with.
Understanding Why the Appeals Court Exists
The appeals court is in place to review any decisions of law. This court will determine if the decision made by the jury or judge was impartial and accurate based on the law.
The appeals court won’t look at the credibility of a witness or whether someone was telling the truth during their testimony. Instead, this court looks at whether the judge made the decisions during the trial based on the law.
If a mistake in law was made (when a judge makes a wrong decision), it may lead to the case being reevaluated or the verdict getting overturned. This could include throwing out evidence, giving the wrong instructions to the jury during the trial or ruling incorrectly on a material objection.
Even if a judge makes a mistake in law, it may not lead to a reversal of your case. This mistake must be so severe that it caused a wrongful outcome.
Reasons Why Your Case is Eligible for Appeal
There are several reasons why your case may be eligible for appeal. While just about all cases can be appealed, some appeals are simply a waste of time and money. However, if your case falls under the following reasons for the appeal, you may have a chance in appellate court.
First, if a mistake was made with gathering or accepting critical evidence, you may have a strong appeal. There are specific ethical and Constitutional guidelines that must be followed when it comes to the gathering and acceptance of evidence. This even applies to civil cases when it comes to medical records, documents, vehicles and other types of evidence.
Second, when a judge provides the jury with the wrong instructions, it could be a very strong reason for appeal. If the jury brought back a verdict based on those wrong instructions, you have a strong case for appeal. The judge is required to give accurate instructions to the jury based on the law. Inaccurate jury instructions nearly always guarantee a reversal of the case and a remand to the trial court.
Finally, when a verdict comes back with an inequitably large fine or amount of money to pay, it should always be appealed. If the amount is simply impossible for the defendant to pay, an appeal is likely. This is an error that happens often with jury trials because the jurors get emotional and award a massive sum of money as punishment. This will likely lead to a motion for relief of judgment to appeal the case. The findings may not be reversed, but the money owed will likely become a more equitable amount.
There are several other great reasons to appeal your court case. When it comes to appellate law, you need an expert on your side to review your case first. If an appellate attorney in Jacksonville urges you to appeal your case, you likely have a good chance at getting the verdict reversed.