Should You Hire A New Lawyer For The Appeal?

Law Blog

Not all personal injury cases are winners but, the good news is that plaintiffs who lose their cases at trial can appeal the judgments and attempt to get a new result. One of the first decisions you have to make, though, is whether you should continue with your current attorney or hire a new lawyer to litigate your appeal. Here are a couple of things to think about, which can help you decide what to do.

Does Your Trial Lawyer Have Experience in Appellate Court?

Trials and appeals are two completely different legal beasts. At trial, each party argues their side of the case before a judge or jury and a decision is rendered based on the evidence presented. The trial lawyer's job is to convince the court that their client's side of events is the most correct version and that the monetary award requested is fair compensation for the client's damages and losses.

An appeal, however, is simply a review of the case to determine if the correct decision was made. No new evidence is presented. Instead, the appellate court looks at whether court procedures were followed correctly, if any mistakes were made, and how any errors impacted the case. The lawyer's task here is to help the judge decide whether to uphold the lower court's decision or send the case back for a new trial.

Thus, trials and appeals require different types of knowledge and skillsets. As such, an attorney who's great at trials may not have the right skills needed to successfully litigate an appeal. Ask your lawyer if he or she has any experience with appeals. If the person doesn't, you should hire an attorney who does. You can always rehire your trial lawyer if you win the appeal and your case is sent back to the lower court to be tried again.

Is It Time for a Fresh Pair of Eyes?

Even the best attorney gets tunnel vision at times and has difficulty seeing other ways a case could be litigated. When an attorney gets too close to the case or has been handling it for too long, they may become overly invested in handling it a certain way. As noted previously, appellate cases are completely different than trials, so this type of one-track-mindedness can hurt your chances of success.

If you feel a fresh pair of eyes is needed in your case, then you may be better served hiring a new attorney to handle the appeal. The new person can come in with a fresh perspective that could lead to a better outcome than if you kept going with your trial lawyer.

For more information about appealing cases or help with your personal injury lawsuit, contact a local personal injury lawyer.


10 March 2020

File Chapter 7, and Keep Your Home

Many people assume that when they file Chapter 7 bankruptcy, they will have to give up their homes and other property. This is not necessarily the case. I am a bankruptcy attorney, and I have helped many clients file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy without giving up homes, cars, and other property. When you file for bankruptcy, the property you are allowed to keep depends on your individual circumstances and the state where you live. Most states allow exemption for property you are currently paying for. This blog will guide you through that information and help you determine if filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the right choice for you.