24/7 call for a free consultation 212-300-5196




When you’re facing a federal issue, you need an attorney whose going to be available 24/7 to help you get the results and outcome you need. The value of working with the Spodek Law Group is that we treat each and every client like a member of our family.

How to Select the Best Lawyer for Your Federal Criminal Appeal

How to Select the Best Lawyer for Your Federal Criminal Appeal

If you or a loved one have been convicted of a federal crime and plan to appeal, choosing the right lawyer is crucial. This process can seem overwhelming, but breaking it down step-by-step can help. I’ll walk you through what to look for so you can find the best attorney for your situation.

Understand the Appeals Process Basics First

Before diving into lawyer selection, grasp the basics of the federal appeals process. The first step is filing a notice of appeal within 14 days of the judgment. This kicks off the long process. Next, legal arguments are presented in written briefs focused purely on legal issues – no new evidence allowed. Occasionally oral arguments happen, but most cases decide on briefs alone. The process often takes over a year.

This means your lawyer needs stellar writing skills and deep knowledge of appellate legal procedures. Every detail matters when facing stringent requirements. Any missteps by your attorney can cause delays or dismissal, so meticulous experts are a must. Patience is also vital.

Research Lawyers Extensively

Finding the right federal appeals attorney takes legwork – this person holds your freedom in their hands. Start with legal databases like Avvo and Martindale-Hubbell. Search for lawyers with your required specialty, then scrutinize their background.

  • First, confirm they focus specifically on federal criminal appeals versus other law. This area has quirks all its own.
  • Look for appellate experience measured in decades. Newbies learning the ropes won’t cut it here.
  • Read through cases the lawyer worked on to gauge their success with similar appeals. Published wins indicate strong skills.
  • Determine if they clerked for federal judges. This inside experience with the courts is invaluable.

Cast a wide net in your research before deciding. Getting referrals from trusted sources also helps narrow options.

Interview Lawyers Thoroughly

Once you have prospects, question them vigorously because they’ll handle your life’s most critical case. Here are key areas to address:

Their Vision for Your Appeal: Do they grasp the legal complexities your case presents? How do they plan to craft arguments to highlight errors made at trial? Their strategy should align with the appeals basics above while creatively attacking issues. If it feels boilerplate, move on.

Communication Style: Appellate lawyers focus on written briefs, not dramatic court arguments. But you still need one who connects well. Do they listen attentively and explain concepts clearly without legalese? Comfort level is critical.

Their Appellate Experience: Probe their history handling federal appeals specifically. Ask for stats on their personal win rates. Request examples of briefs they wrote in comparable cases. Verify claims about high-profile appeals they participated in. Their expertise level must be rock-solid.

Fee and Billing Structure: Appellate lawyers charge $200-$500+/hour. Get fee estimates in writing along with billing processes. Be wary of vague quotes since appeals are unpredictable. Also ask if they handle appeals cases pro bono or offer payment plans.

Use your gut feeling during interviews along with facts to guide your decision. Once you select an attorney, brief the courts swiftly to get your appeal moving.

I know the lawyer selection process feels daunting after a conviction. Breaking it down into clear steps makes it more manageable. And a meticulous, experienced federal appeals attorney gives you the best shot at victory – they exist if you do the footwork. Don’t lose hope and let me know if you have any other questions!

Schedule Your Consultation Now