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Handling Appeals in Florida Civil Trial Matters

A trial judge’s decision is not always the last word on a civil matter. Either party may appeal an unfavorable decision, not just of final judgment, but also appealable orders during trial and litigation, and post-trial motions as well. From the moment it becomes known that an appeal will go forward, Russo Appellate Firm is prepared to handle all of the steps necessary for processing the appeal from start to finish, whether as the party taking the appeal (the Appellant) or as the party responding to the appeal (the Appellee). We make sure that the record on appeal is properly assembled and complete and that all deadlines are met. Call our office if you are contemplating an appeal or if the opposing counsel is filing an appeal in your litigation.

The knowledge and skills of experienced appeals specialists

Appeals share some features in common with trials, but key differences define appellate work as a true specialty in the law. As just one example, trial lawyers are used to seeing deadlines extended or waived on a routine basis. At the appellate level, however, filing deadlines are jurisdictional in nature. They are strictly enforced and cannot be waived. Knowing this distinction is critical to the success of an appeal from the very start.

The skills that make a great trial lawyer are not necessarily those that make a great appellate attorney. The Florida Bar recognizes this fact by certifying lawyers as specialists in Civil Trial Law as well as Appellate Practice. The best trial lawyers recognize this fact as well and do not hesitate to call on the board-certified specialists at Russo Appellate Firm for help with an appeal.

Trial lawyers often bring us onboard while litigation is ongoing, so we can assist in preserving issues for appeal and providing other trial support. Our experience at the trial level further enhances our ability when brought in after judgment to review the record and trial transcript for appealable error. We can help identify possible grounds for appeal and determine whether trial mistakes were harmless or amounted to reversible error in areas such as mistake of fact, abuse of discretion, improper jury instructions, and other errors of law or procedure.

Excellence in brief preparation

One area where we truly give your side of the case the chance to shine is in the briefing. Although appellate courts generally allow counsel to present oral argument after the briefing is complete, oral arguments rarely change the outcome of an appeal. The briefing is what will persuade the judges which party should prevail. Through decades of experience, we have learned that brief writing can and should be considered a form of art. Briefs must clear and direct, yet also rich in detail where it matters. No reader likes to be bored in any context, and good briefing requires a lively and interesting presentation. A well-written brief will not only present a compelling case for victory but will also anticipate all arguments that the opponent will raise, showing why they are insufficient to change the right outcome that the writer is seeking.

Critical thinking in appellate practice

Presentations in appeals, whether in briefing or oral argument, must also take into account the policy considerations that enter into appellate court decisions. The appellate court needs to be shown why the result being requested is the right and fair outcome that will serve the interests of justice. Our attorneys specialize in thinking, studying and understanding complex legal issues and writing or arguing about them in a cogent and convincing manner.

Florida Board Certified Appellate Practice Specialists

Having handled hundreds of appeals with the above principles, our firm can give you the best chance of winning your appeal. Call Russo Appellate Firm in Miami for help with appeals throughout the state of Florida. We can be reached at 305-666-4660, or you can contact us online to request a consultation.

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