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If you don’t have access to substantial financial resources, mounting an appeal to a federal court judgment can be tricky. Most people don’t realize all the costs that are involved since so many of the cases are handled out of court. Appeals involve lots of expenses. First, you have to hire a new legal team or pay your existing team for handling the appeal. Lawyer fees aren’t cheap, but it’s a complete waste of your money to pay an attorney who isn’t familiar with the demands of filing and adjudicating an appeal. The costs of mounting a federal appeal include:
The costs of your appeal can vary depending on which circuit court handles your appeal and the complexity of the case. Simple appeals based on a single issue might not cost too much. However, a case filed on the grounds that the evidence was insufficient for a conviction could be extremely expensive.
In such a case, the entire trial record would have to be printed, analyzed and converted into the appropriate briefing documents. Lawyers would spend many billable hours researching the case. These cases are more likely to schedule a hearing for oral arguments, which raises the costs of the appeal considerably.
The costs of an appeal can be overwhelming – especially if the appeal is upheld by the court. People who want to file an appeal must weigh the costs against the potential benefits of a judgement reversal. Even those facing long jail sentences should consider how the costs could affect their loved ones – especially if the case is weak.
Most appeals are upheld even when there is evidence of grounds for reversal. The judges might rule that the error in legal procedure was a Harmless Error that had no impact on the judgement. If you do decide to appeal your case, it’s critical to hire an experienced appellate attorney so that you have a greater chance of securing a reversal for your considerable financial investment.