At Griffin Durham Tanner & Clarkson, we pride ourselves on sticking with our clients through thick and thin. While we have a superior track record of winning cases, we also have specialized attorneys who can be brought in to assist with appeals. Having cumulatively handled hundreds of criminal and civil appeals successfully in both federal and state appellate courts, we are sought after for our experience and judgment.
Our team includes two former federal Court of Appeals clerks, one of whom also served for years as the appellate chief of a United States Attorney’s Office as well as on a national advisory group of Department of Justice appellate attorneys. Our proficiency level in appeals court cases is, therefore, extremely high. When you are seeking an attorney to provide you with powerful representation in a court of appeals, it’s time to call Griffin Durham Tanner & Clarkson.
How Appeals Courts Differ From District Courts
There are generally three main levels of courts:
- District courts (trial courts)
- Court of Appeals or Circuit courts (for the federal circuit)
- The Supreme Court (in both states or for the entire United States)
In district court, a judge tries a case, overseeing both prosecution and defense, and presiding over a jury that will arrive at the verdict. The assigned task of an appellate court, however, is to determine whether or not the law was applied correctly at trial. Appeals courts consist of a panel of judges and do not use a jury. They do not retry cases, listen to new evidence, or hear witnesses testify. Rather, they rule on whether the previous proceedings were judged properly in terms of legal procedure. The skills necessary for effective oral advocacy may be different than the skills to persuade a jury.
There are three ways an appeals court can rule on the circuit court’s initial verdict:
- Uphold the original decision
- Reverse the decision (such as from a guilty verdict to a not guilty verdict)
- Remand the case (send it back to the lower court) with instructions about how the lower court should reconsider the case
An appeals court might, for instance, remand a case because it has determined that the judge committed a procedural error during trial, such as excluding admissible evidence or ruling on a motion incorrectly. Appellate courts review the procedures and decisions in the trial court to make sure that the proceedings were fair and that the proper law was applied correctly.
How High-Stakes Appellate Representation Differs From Typical Defense
Our appeals attorneys are at a great advantage in appellate courts because they are well-trained in appeals techniques and have experience with appellate venues. If you have received an adverse ruling during litigation, our talented team of defense attorneys is well-prepared to protect your right to a just trial.
How Cases Are Won on Appeal
No matter how you slice it, winning an appeal is challenging. Although a great many cases are appealed, appeals are successful only a small percentage of the time. To give yourself the best possible chance of winning your case on appeal, you must:
Engage the Services of an Experienced Appeals Attorney
This the first and most significant step you can take because, as mentioned, appeals require a different skill set than ordinary courtroom trials.
Once you do your due diligence in searching for the right appeals attorney, you will find that Griffin Durham Tanner & Clarkson is one of only a few practices that has attorneys with the appropriate credentials. Our team is especially well-adapted to the appeals process and has a track record showing that the aforementioned credentials have repeatedly been put to good use.
Identify Sound Grounds for Appeal
As your defense attorneys, we will carefully evaluate the chances of winning your case on appeal and make our decision accordingly. Appeals can’t be made simply because we think the verdict at the initial trial was unfair. We know how to find and develop the best arguments for success, such as improperly admitted evidence, incorrect jury instructions, or lack of sufficient evidence to support a verdict.
What Our Appeals Attorneys Will Do to Help
As we review the evidence and rulings from the original trial, we will find the points that can be perfected as we craft our appellate briefs and develop our oral arguments. With the power of hindsight and increased knowledge of the particular prosecutors’ techniques, we now have a leg up on our opponents.
Contact Our Aggressive Georgia Appeals Attorney
If you have received an incorrect verdict at trial, contact the attorneys at Griffin Durham Tanner & Clarkson. We will bring our considerable experience with appeals to bear on your case to help you obtain the just treatment you are entitled to receive.