The time and stress of your legal matter are over, but still your case has not been resolved in a satisfying way. You may feel the legal system has failed you, or that your voice was not fully heard. But what to do now? After an unsuccessful case, it can feel overwhelming to think of taking the whole process on again. However, legal appeals do offer an avenue to pursue the outcome you feel you deserve. In Virginia, individuals can often file an appeal to have their legal decision re-examined and possibly changed based on a wide variety of factors. While not every case is eligible for an appeal, a skilled attorney can help you understand more about your rights, your case, and what legal options might exist.
If you are unhappy with your legal outcome and you’d like to learn more about appealing that decision, don’t hesitate to call the experienced appellate lawyers at Greenspun Shapiro PC. Call our Fairfax office today at 703-352-0100 to speak with a member of our team to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. We can answer your questions and help you understand more about your possible legal options.
Can I Appeal my Virginia Legal Ruling?
An appeal is a request for a higher court to review and change the ruling of a lower court. In Virginia, when a general district court makes a decision in a civil or criminal case, there exists an absolute right to appeal the court’s decision to a circuit court. In cases heard by circuit court, there may be an option to appeal to either the Virginia Court of Appeals or the Virginia Supreme Court. Not all cases are eligible for an appeal. The nature of the case and the court in which the case was originally heard determine whether or not an appeal is possible. The legal team at Greenspun Shapiro PC has significant experience navigating the appeals process for many different types of cases, including:
Even if you aren’t sure if your case can be appealed, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. The lawyers at Greenspun Shapiro PC are here to examine your case and help you determine how best to move forward. Call our Fairfax office at 703-352-0100 or fill out our online contact form to speak with a member of our legal team.
How Does the Virginia Appellate Process Work?
The appeals process can vary slightly from state to state. In Virginia, you must have a specific reason for requesting an appeal to the Court of Appeals or Supreme Court of Virginia. A case cannot be appealed simply because one side is unhappy with the outcome. Appeals must be based on some legal right that was handled incorrectly during the first trial. Some common grounds for an appeal include:
- Incorrect jury instructions
- Ineffective counsel
- Lack of sufficient evidence
- Improperly admitted evidence
- Juror misconduct
Appeals can be difficult and complicated. It is important to identify any and all problems with your first case and to present the court with a compelling argument for your side.
Once you and your attorney have done so, the process must be started rather quickly after the initial verdict, as the statute of limitations, or time limit, for filing an appeal is very limited. In Virginia, the appeal goes through a lengthy process. Civil and criminal appeals can take more than a year to complete.
What Makes an Appeal Different Than a Regular Lawsuit?
Appeals are unique in nature. They can be difficult, complicated, and time-consuming. It is important to discuss your case with a knowledgeable attorney to ensure you fully understand the goals and expectations of your appeal. They are different from other legal tasks because:
- They are not a re-trial of your original case. Appeals ask a higher court to review the case to determine if the outcome was fair. The higher court can affirm the previous ruling, vacate the ruling (which essentially makes it as if the original case did not happen), or reverse the ruling.
- They are based almost solely on legal arguments made by you and your attorney. Your attorney will submit written arguments on your behalf to make a case for an appeal based on the legal issues and facts of the case. Typically, appeals are based solely on the record before the Court. Appellate courts decide if the matter was handled appropriately from a legal standpoint.
- They are known for deference to the lower courts. Higher courts are not always eager to change the decision of a lower court. Arguments for an appeal must show compelling evidence as to why the appeal should be granted.
What You Can Expect From Our Fairfax Appellate Lawyers
Effective appellate advocacy begins by closely reviewing the case record to ensure that an appeal has the best possibility for success. The lawyers at Greenspun Shapiro will start there and explore every avenue to gain appellate success. Our team has extensive appeals experience and a commitment to offering clients innovative and creative legal solutions. We are ready to fight on your behalf. While appellate cases are not always easy, we are dedicated to helping clients meet their goals. We provide appellate representation in the following courts:
- Virginia Circuit Courts
- Virginia Court of Appeals
- Virginia Supreme Court
- Federal Courts of Appeal
If you want to appeal your case, call our Fairfax office today at 703-352-0100, or take a moment to fill out our online contact form. A member of our appellate team will discuss your case with you and discuss how we may be able to help.