Have you ever spent any time watching television dramas about legal matters? Most of us could cop to being guilty of this from time to time. Those types of shows are interesting to us and tickle the imagination. However, they get a lot wrong about what the legal process really is in court. They can lead us all to think that things work in a much different fashion than they really do. This is why it is a good idea to know a little about the federal appeals courts and how they function.
An Appeals Court Is There To Correct The Record
You have to realize that an appeals court is not meant as some last ditch effort to change a ruling that has already been made because one party or another is upset with the original ruling. We tend to think this when we hear about the appeals courts, but that is not what they are there for. The only purpose of these courts is to correct technical legal matters that lower courts go wrong.
In the event that a lower court gets a legal procedure wrong when it makes it ruling this needs to be corrected. The appeals court is the only real recourse at this point. The appeals court can at least straighten out the mess that was made by a lower court in this way. The appeals court is not going over the head of a lower court to question its ruling, but it has to make sure all technical matters are addressed.
You Will Probably Not Get To Say Your Piece
In all likelihood you and your attorney will not get a chance to present facts and information to the court in the form of oral arguments. The court will probably just request that you present documents to them that lay out your case to the appeals court. They will not request oral arguments because the courts would get too bogged down if every case was allowed to present oral arguments.
The thing about this is, you really do want the court to ask for oral arguments. If the court shows an interest in hearing oral arguments from your case it could be a good sign that they have questions about your case and things that they legitimately need to have addressed. That is what you want out of all of this.
appeals Are Generally Expensive
Another thing that the general public definitely fails to recognize about appeals is that they are generally very costly. Lawyer’s fees and other expenses start to add up as these cases are dragged out. People think that clients bring appeals without thought to cost, but that is not the case. Lawyers can charge a lot of money for all of this extra legwork, so clients need to be very certain that they are prepared to go through all of that if they want to lodge an appeal.
The Process Is Slow
The courts seek to get to justice, but it sometimes takes them a decent period of time to get there. Don’t expect to hear from the court for a while, and when you do eventually hear from them you can expect that it is going to be to request more documents and information. This is just the way that the courts work in this country and in many other parts of the world. The whole process is very technical and detail-oriented, and that is exactly how it should be.
A Quality Attorney Is Very Valuable
The appeals process is expensive as already mentioned, but it is hard to overestimate the value of a good attorney to help you navigate your way through this. He or she will have had a lot of experience working with clients on appeals in the past. That will aid their ability to explain each step of the process along the way to you, and we could all use some of that peace of mind.