FOLLOW US :
212-300-5196

White Glove Service. Excellent Results. Strong Reputation.

Read Our Reviews

Appealing To The United States Supreme Court

Appealing To The United States Supreme Court

Phrases such as “High Court” and “last resort” identify the United States Supreme Court. For cases properly before it, the Supreme Court has the final and ultimate say.

With very limited exceptions, most cases come to the United States Supreme Court as appeals from the decisions of lower courts — often appellate courts themselves. The U.S. Supreme Court hears and rules upon 100 to 150 cases in a typical year. As explained below, getting before the Court is difficult and rare.

Requesting a Review By the Supreme Court

Generally, a criminal defendant has a right to appeal a federal conviction to a federal court of appeals. The federal court system maintains a Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia and 12 circuits based on geography. (The District of Columbia is its own federal circuit.)

By contrast, a defendant does not have a right to the U.S. Supreme Court’s review of a conviction. The Court, in its discretion, may take the case. To obtain review, a defendant must petition the Supreme Court for certiorari. The High Court rarely grants these requests. Roughly 7,000 petitions come before the Court annually. It takes four of the nine justices to grant certiorari. For death penalty cases, the Court’s rules call for five justices to approve the request.

Good candidates for Supreme Court review are cases where federal circuit courts of appeals have rendered conflicting decisions on the issue at hand. Such cases must also have significance to the law and the public. Often, these cases touch upon violations of constitutional rights or whether particular conduct is or can be considered criminal. For instance, different circuit courts may differ upon whether a particular search or seizure is unreasonable and violates the Fourth Amendment. Lower appellate courts may also contradict each other on whether a criminal statute infringes upon constitutional rights such as freedom of speech or freedom of religion.

The US Supreme Court may also take a case to reverse a lower court decision that conflicts with the High Court’s established precedent.

Even if grounds exist for certiorari, a federal appeals lawyer must often supply other reasons in the petition for review. Notably, the high court likely will not review a case if the conviction could be affirmed for reasons unrelated to the issue to otherwise be reviewed.

What Does the U.S. Supreme Court Decide — and Not Decide?

In its appellate capacity, the U.S. Supreme Court does not determine the facts of the case, weigh the evidence or assess witnesses’ credibility. It decides only if the lower court correctly applied the relevant law to those facts. Lower courts face reversal of their judgments and rulings for reasons such as applying the wrong burden of proof to a prosecution or admitting or excluding evidence in violation of a constitutional right provision. For these situations, the High Court may order a new trial.

In some cases, the High Court may determine that the alleged conduct is either not a crime or may strike down a statute as unconstitutional. Such rulings will result in dismissal of the criminal charges.

What Does an Appellate Lawyer do in a Supreme Court Appeal?

Once the Court accepts a case for review, the appellant (petitioner) must prepare and file a brief. In the brief, the petitioner argues why the Supreme Court should reverse the lower courts’ actions. The Court sets rules for page limits, paper size and type and the formatting. The petitioner’s brief must contain a statement of the Court’s jurisdiction (power) to hear the appeal, the questions presented in the appeal, a statement of the facts in the case and the legal arguments. The Supreme Court requires verbatim quotations of applicable constitutional, statutory or regulatory provisions at issue. With the likelihood of numerous pages for these items, most briefs must have a table of contents and a table of the statutes, cases, regulations and other authorities cited in the briefs.

After the petitioner files his or her brief, the Solicitor General files a responsive brief on the U.S. Government’s behalf. The respondent explains why the conviction or judgment should be sustained. Unless the respondent disagrees with the petitioner’s version, the respondent’s brief will not have the statements required in the petitioner’s brief. Groups such as law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, civil liberties groups, public defenders or private parties may file amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) briefs.

After the briefing, the lawyers appear for oral arguments. This process allows the justices to quiz the attorneys about the merits of their positions. Justices may question the applicability of cases or statutes upon which the parties rely, whether the parties’ arguments conflict with standing precedent and even the parties’ version or interpretation of the facts or other matters in the record.

An experienced appellate lawyer can help defendants pursue the reversal of wrongful convictions. That experience is necessary to navigate the many time limits, format standards and other rules that apply to presenting an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.


Charle Butler
Charle Butler
2021-03-12
Verified
I was hesitant to hire the Spodek Law Group. I read reviews and knew they have a great reputation. However, I thought I would spend money and not see or speak to my attorney. From the beginning to end of my case Todd and the entire staff were available and willing to help. We worked towards and end result that was way above my expectation and Todd delivered. I am forever grateful for patience and long days and night spent working on my case. Thanks Todd and the entire team!
Mesonista parsons
Mesonista parsons
2021-03-05
Verified
My attorney at Spodek was Abigail. She was very knowledgeable and helpful with all my questions and concerns, as well as responsive. Her fees are affordable and Abigail took the time to make sure I understood everything relating to my case. I highly recommend Abigail and will request her services in the future.
debabrata chakraborty
debabrata chakraborty
2021-03-03
Verified
Todd A Spodek is the experienced and best criminal lawyer at USA. He is very professional and always respond on time. Alex also very cooperative and always help me. They took care me and my problem like family member. I am 100% satisfied for their professional service. My result was unexpected and amazing. They dismissed my case. I am really grateful to them. I will recommend you to go there if you want to solve your problem. I wish all the best for them.
Asata Hendricks
Asata Hendricks
2021-03-02
Verified
Truly appreciate the work the guys did!. Exceptional team & I know they care about each and everyone of their clients. I am super thankful to be referred to Spodek Law Group and I am grateful Todd & Alex were able to work diligently to achieve an outcome I am pleased with. Despite COVID they stayed on top of things and kept me informed every step of the way. Very thankful.
Mike Moroff
Mike Moroff
2021-02-26
Verified
I'm very satisfied with the services rendered by Todd, Alex and Mary Lou. I whole heartedly recommend Spodek Law Group . I've worked with and have retained other attorneys in the past with Todd's firm being the cream of the crop for many reasons. A very serious legal matter was resolved after a year's hard work and effort. Todd expertly guided me through the process and was able to navigate and make the good journey bearable as well as successful. Mary Lou initially provided excellent assistance before referring my case to Todd. Alex's support was effective and timely. The customer portal (MyCase) is an invaluable communication tool that also kept track of my case. Various aspects of my case were explained and there were several options provided but I made the final decision of how the case would be handled. The legal fee was reasonable considering the effort and amount of work plus it was a flat fee regardless of the length of time required to conclude my case. Todd made himself available to me and we had many scheduled meetings to go over the progress and to discuss the next steps. I felt more confident after many discussions with him. You will not go wrong choosing Spodek Law Group for legal matters.
Josh Katz
Josh Katz
2021-02-24
Verified
Being that it was the first time that I was in need of an attorney, I was afraid and hesitant and knew I needed the absolute best. It is beyond understood why Spodek Law Group has a reputation of being the top, if not the best law firm in New York. Alex and Abigail were there every step of the way even at the most unconvenient hours. I could not have asked for more. They are extremely good at what they do and they delivered much much more than just winning my case. A big thank you to Alex and Abigail for all the guidance and counseling and their upmost loyal support that extended far more than just legally. If you need the absolute best than don't hesitate to hire Spodek Law Firm.
L.C.
L.C.
2021-02-24
Verified
I cannot tell you how thankful I am to Todd and Alex for their hard work and dedication to my case. I had never been in any trouble before but I had an unfortunate event occur and in the midst of COVID-19 at that therefore I knew I needed a team that was dedicated to my success. Today- my case has been finalized and I’m walking away with no record and can continue life as a mother and a Grad student worry free. I cannot express enough gratitude for their assistance.
AnnMarie Soliman
AnnMarie Soliman
2021-02-23
Verified
I received a summons and called Spodek law group for a free consultation. Alex took my call and was very quick and responsive. He was available anytime through multiple platforms and very reassuring when needed. They are extremely organized and thorough. They got my case dismissed! I’m very grateful. Thank you Alex and Todd!

FREE CONSULTATION

Testimonials

Spodek Law Group have offered me excellent support and advice thru a very difficult time. I feel I've dealt with someone who truly cares and wants the best outcome for you and yours. I'm extremely grateful for all the help Spodek Law Group has offered me. I can't recommend them enough.

~ David Bruce

Spodek Law Group was incredibly professional and has given me the best advice I could wish for. They had been helpful and empathetic to my stressful situation. Would highly recommend Spodek Law Group to anyone I meet.

~ Rowlin Garcia

Best service I ever had. Todd is absolutely class personified. You are in the safest hands with spodek. They have their clients interest in mind.

~ Francis Anim

Spodek Law Group

White Glove Service

We provide superior service, excellent results, at a level superior to other criminal defense law firms. Regardless of where your case is, nationwide, we can help you.



Hear From Our Clients

"Spodek Law Group have offered me excellent support and advice thru a very difficult time. I feel I've dealt with someone who truly cares and wants the best outcome for you and yours. I'm extremely grateful for all the help Spodek Law Group has offered me. I can't recommend them..."

David Bruce

"Spodek Law Group was incredibly professional and has given me the best advice I could wish for. They had been helpful and empathetic to my stressful situation. Would highly recommend Spodek Law Group to anyone I meet."

Rowlin Garcia

"Best service I ever had. Todd is absolutely class personified. You are in the safest hands with spodek. They have their clients interest in mind."

Francis Anim
Read Our Reviews
Get In Touch

Schedule Your Consultation

Los Angeles

555 W 5th St 35th floor, Los Angeles, CA 90013

212-300-5196



get directions

Queens

35-37 36th St, 2nd Floor Astoria, NY 11106

212-300-5196



get directions

NYC

85 Broad St 30th Floor, New York, NY 10004

212-300-5196



get directions

Brooklyn

195 Montague St., 14th Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201

212-300-5196



get directions

Call Us