Criminal appeals are heard as a matter of right.
Criminal appeals are heard as a matter of right.
Writ petitions are generally heard as a matter of discretion, and they are governed by equitable principles.
A writ of habeas corpus orders the custodian of an individual in custody to produce the individual before the court to make an inquiry concerning his or her detention.
The federal court system has three main levels: district courts (the trial court), circuit courts which are the first level of appeal, and the Supreme Court of the United States, the final level of appeal in the federal system. There are 13 circuit courts, and one Supreme Court throughout the country.
Once the federal district (trial) court has decided a case, the case can be appealed to a United States court of appeal. There are twelve federal circuits that divide the country into different regions. The Ninth Circuit, for example, includes the states of Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington, along with territorial courts of Guam, Northern Mariana Islands and American Samoa. Cases from the district courts of those states and territories are appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which is headquartered in San Franciso, California.
Even after a defendant is found guilty, they can petition an appeal to the Circuit Court if the defendant believes they were wrongly convicted or the sentence was too harsh. An appeal is not another trial but an opportunity for the defendant / petitioner to try to raise specific errors that might have occurred at trial. A common appeal is that a decision from the judge was incorrect – such as whether to suppress certain evidence or to impose a certain sentence or more commonly, if the jury instructions were incorrect. Appeals are complicated and sometimes result in the case going back to the trial court. A specific conviction may be reversed, a sentence altered, or a new trial may be ordered altogether if the Appeals Court decides that particular course of action.
Even after an appeal is decided by a circuit court with a three judge panel, a defendant can request a rare “en banc hearing,” which is a hearing in front of all the circuit judges. (The Ninth Circuit has a different process for en banc than the rest of the circuits.) En banc opinions tend to carry more weight and are usually decided only after a panel has first heard the case. Once a panel has ruled on an issue and “published” the opinion, no future panel can overrule the previous decision. The panel can, however, suggest that the circuit take up the case en banc to reconsider the first panel’s decision.
Even then after the decision the petitioner can try to appeal that decision to the United States Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. The United States Supreme Court — the highest appellate court in the American court system — makes the final decision concerning a defendant’s appeal. The Court is not required to hear an appeal in every case and takes only a small number of cases each year.
The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest court in the American judicial system, and has the power to decide appeals on all cases brought in federal court or those brought in state court but dealing with federal law. For example, if a First Amendment freedom of speech case was decided by the highest court of a state (usually the state supreme court), the case could be appealed to the federal Supreme Court. However, if that same case were decided entirely on a state law similar to the First Amendment, the Supreme Court of the United States would not be able to consider the case.
After the circuit court or state supreme court has ruled on a case, either party may choose to appeal to the Supreme Court. Unlike circuit court appeals, however, the Supreme Court is usually not required to hear the appeal. Parties may file a “writ of certiorari” to the court, asking it to hear the case. If the writ is granted, the Supreme Court will take briefs and conduct oral argument. If the writ is not granted, the lower court’s opinion stands. Certiorari is not often granted; less than 1% of appeals to the high court are actually heard by it. The Court typically hears cases when there are conflicting decisions across the country on a particular issue or when there is an egregious error in a case.
The members of the Court are referred to as “justices” and, like other federal judges, they are appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate for a life term. There are nine justices on the court – eight associate justices and one chief justice. The Constitution sets no requirements for Supreme Court justices, though all current members of the court are lawyers and most have served as circuit court judges. Justices are also often former law professors. The chief justice acts as the administrator of the court and is chosen by the President and approved by the Congress when the position is vacant.
The Supreme Court meets in Washington, D.C. The court conducts its annual term from the first Monday of October until each summer, usually ending in late June.
Years of Experience
One of The Most Ethical Lawyers I’ve Ever Known...
Let me start by saying I am extremely pleased by Mr. Devereux's work, professionalism, and devotion to his clients. He was very honest and never made any false promises about the outcome of my case nor did he try to seek compensation further than our initial contract. I initially consulted and even hired other experienced attorneys but nothing got accomplished. Mr. Devereux worked on my case for over six months and was able to get my case dismissed which I was told by previous attorneys was impossible. My husband and I are forever grateful for his great work!
Brillant & Informative Attorney
Michael came to us when we were in crisis and had just lost 500k in an internet wire fraud hack job by criminals. He lightened us up with good information and follows up. Just a really nice good guy and easy to talk too.
Internet Extortion Case
When I thought my case was impossible, Michael came to the rescue. His knowledge of internet forensics is beyond impressive. I cannot thank him and his team enough for all of their hard work.
Mr. Devereux and his firm did an outstanding job with understanding and handling my case. From the initial consultation on the phone, Mr. Devereux put me at ease that the situation could be taken care of. Let me just say that I'm not an educated man, but I do know how to treat people, and I know when someone has a good heart. I would like to personally thank Mr. Devereux for communicating with me constantly during the process, and for responding to my emails and/or phone calls in a very timely fashion. Thank you!!!!
Five Stars Isn't Enough...
When I had the good fortune to be represented by Mr. Devereux I was reminded that God does indeed work through others. I owe this man my life, literally. Everyone told me my case was hopeless, that I was a fool to take this to trial and this man had faith in me and his ability to give me a fair trial and ultimately an astounding new belief in humanity. Watching him in action was like watching a surgeon save a life.I believed he truly cared about me and my case. I can't thank him enough. Thank you Mr. Devereux!!
Super Lawyer beat the pants off the Prosecutor & the Judge-WINS unanimously in less than 40 minutes of Jury deliberation.
YES, I highly recommend Michael as a Super Lawyer. Michael took my case to the full jury trial because the issue was politically sensitive and he beat the pants off the Prosecutor. The prosecutor commented such and shook his hand at the end. Michael is a fact driven lawyer. He fights to WIN. Although the experience is troubling for anyone to have to go to court, Michael takes the burden away & off the client.