Civil Appeals

Civil Appeals in Appellate Court

An Appeal Is

An appeal is when someone who loses a case in a trial court asks a higher court (the appellate court) to review the trial court's decision.

In almost all cases, the appellate court ONLY looks at two things:
1) Whether a LEGAL mistake was made in the trial court; AND
2) Whether this mistake changed the final decision (called the "judgment") in the case.

You have the right to appeal without an attorney, but one mistake and your case may be dismissed and you may have to pay the costs and lawyer fees for the other side.

An appeal does NOT stop the trial court's order. You must do what the trial court ordered you to do during the appeal, unless you are granted a stay.

- A new trial with witnesses or a jury;
- A chance to do the case in front of a new judge;
- An opportunity to present new evidence or new witnesses.

About Us

Michael Devereux is a highly respected appellate attorney in Los Angeles. His vast experience, zealous advocacy for his clients and extensive knowledge of many areas of appellate rights, make Mr. Devereux an elite appellate attorney. Not every lawyer can successfully handle appeals. It is important to find an attorney who understands the appeals process and has the legal research and reasoning skills to effectively handle your case. A badge of honor for every appellate attorney is a published opinion. A published opinion is indicative that the appellate court took the matter serious and didn't believe that the appellate attorney was just blowing smoke. A published opinion is a sign that the appellate attorney understand the appeals process and is efficient with legal research and reasoning skills. The vast majority of appellate attorneys do not have a published opinion. Mr. Devereux does have a published opinion in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which is the highest court of appeals other than the United States Supreme Court.

Why Retaining An Elite Appellate Attorney Matters

You have the right to appeal a case without a lawyer. But appeals are very complicated and take a lot of time, effort, and money. You have to do all the paperwork correctly, meet the deadlines, and follow all the court's rules and procedures. If you make mistakes, your case may be dismissed and you may have to pay the appeal costs of the other side. A lawyer with experience in appeals can help you make sure you complete every step correctly and on time. Also, a lawyer can help you decide if you can or should file an appeal at all. A lawyer may know how to get what you want faster and cheaper by using a different legal process such as a writ or a motion for reconsideration. Many lawyers do not do appeals, so make sure you talk to a lawyer who specializes in appeals. Ask if they have a published opinion.

An Appeal Is Not:

A) A new trial with witnesses or a jury;
B) A chance to go to court and present your case all over again in front of a different judge; or
C) A chance to present new evidence or new witnesses.

The appellate court only reviews what happened in the trial court to decide if a legal mistake was made in the original trial; for example, to see if the trial court judge applied the wrong law to the facts of the case.

The appellate court cannot change the trial court's decision just because the appellate court judges (called "justices") disagree with it. The trial court is entitled to hear the evidence and come to its own decision. The appellate court can only reverse the trial court's decision if it finds a legal mistake in the trial court proceedings that was so important that it changed at least part of the outcome of the case. Because of this heavy burden on the appellant to prove this type of mistake, it is quite difficult to win an appeal.

Also, keep in mind that filing an appeal does NOT stop the trial court's order. Unless you ask the trial or appellate court to postpone ("stay") the trial court's order, you must do what the trial court's order requires you to do during the appeal. A request for a stay can be complicated, and you may still have to pay some of the money ordered by the trial court upfront. Ask an Wexford Law lawyer if one of these options would be good in your case and get help. But remember that an appeal is NOT a way to put off having to comply with the trial court's order.

Note: Wexford Law of Los Angeles provides this website for informational purposes only and is not intended as legal advice.


The Best

in Their Fields

If you or your business is facing a legal challenge, contact us today to arrange a free initial consultation with an attorney.

Read more

What People Say

Why Choose Us

  • Our Beliefs

    Our firm is like family. We truly believe that each case is someone’s life and we need to treat it as such.

  • Rich Experience

    Experience gets the job done. Wex Law attorneys have more than 20 years of legal practice.

  • Great Results

    Results are only successful when we make a difference in your life. We’ll help you make that difference.