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Todd Spodek (Managing Partner)

Mr. Spodek decided early on in his life to focus his education and experience on trial work. Todd Spodek attended Northeastern University in Boston, MA and majored in criminal justice. This background provided an indispensable tool in the representation of criminal defendants in grand jury investigations, pre-trial hearings, trial, appeals and navigating the corrections process.…

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The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit

The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit is located in Richmond, Virginia. This court is a federal court that hears appeals from district courts located within the fourth circuit of the United States. In order for a case to be heard in federal court, it must fit certain criteria. Further, the court of appeals must have appellate jurisdiction and accept the case.

Which districts are included in the fourth circuit?
The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit may consider appeals from the following federal district courts:Southern and Northern districts of West Virginia , Eastern and Western Districts of Virginia, District of South Carolina, Eastern, Middle, and Western Districts of North Carolina, and the district Court of Maryland.

In order for a case to be heard in federal court, it must meet certain criteria. This may include a certain dollar amount in controversy, questions related to the constitution, issues that invoke federal law, and diversity in the states where the parties reside.

Judges in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals
The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has 15 authorized judgeships. These judges are appointed by the president of the United States. The judges serve until either removed from office or they elect to retire. Judges may choose to retire with “senior status,” which means that they can continue to hear cases, but a new full-time judge is appointed in their position.

The current chief judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit is Chief Judge Roger Gregory, who was appointed as a judge in 2000 by President Bill Clinton. He obtained Chief Judge status in 2016.

Practice in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
The Fourth Circuit is considered to be one of the most efficient federal appellate courts in the United States. On average, it takes approximately seven months for an appeal to be resolved.

Lawyers who have practiced in the Fourth Circuit and argued in front of the judges often comment that it is a more comfortable setting and the judges are very welcoming. It is a tradition in the Fourth Circuit for the judges to individually greet each lawyer after oral argument, which is uncommon in other federal courts.

Decisions made by the Fourth Circuit court have great significance, as they serve as binding president for the federal district courts and other courts within the circuit that apply the laws being reviewed. Further, other federal circuits may look to decisions rendered in the Fourth Circuit for guidance in addressing similar issues.

If a party disagrees with the decision rendered by The Fourth Circuit court, they may request review by the United States Supreme Court. The United States Supreme Court rarely reviews cases, however there have been several from the Fourth Circuit that have been considered by the highest court of our country.

How can a lawyer assist with cases in the Fourth Circuit?
Cases that reach the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals are typically very complex. The appellate process is governed by very specific rules and procedures. Further, the issues to be reviewed on appeal must have been properly preserved by the district court. It may seem that some cases should be reviewed, but upon further inspection they do not qualify based upon errors that occurred in the lower courts.

Because of this, persons involved in appeals should have legal counsel experienced with appellate practice and also appearing before the Fourth Circuit. A lawyer will understand how to properly preserve and raise the issues that are to be reviewed.

If you have a case that needs to be appealed to the fourth circuit, then contact an attorney as soon as possible to begin the process. An attorney from our firm can review your case to determine if there are issues that qualify for appeal and whether those issues were properly preserved. If the case qualifies for appeal, then a lawyer can file the necessary paperwork within the required time frames to allow your appeal to proceed.

Contact us to learn more about your appellate rights in the Fourth Circuity and ho we can help.

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