Appellate Advocacy Lawyer In Chicago

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Appellate Advocacy Lawyer In Chicago

If you believe a jury or judge’s decision in your civil case is wrong and want to file an appeal, contact the class actions and commercial litigation attorneys of Wallace Miller immediately. We might be able to represent you in your case to challenge the ruling based on a legal or procedural error.

Sitting in a courtroom awaiting a judge or jury’s decision regarding your civil case is stressful. You know someone harmed you and should face the consequences of their actions. Unfortunately, the legal system doesn’t always operate without mistakes. Sometimes, people make errors or engage in illegal acts that lead to unjust and unfair decisions. When that happens, it is your right to file an appeal.

Civil trials are complex. Not every decision is final or correct. Maybe the judge allowed the defendant’s attorney to present inadmissible evidence, or the jury instructions didn’t reflect the law accurately. No matter what happened, you could pursue an appeal to get the justice you deserve. However, you shouldn’t attempt to handle the appeals process alone.

Let Wallace Miller represent you in your case and handle each step on your behalf. Our appellate advocacy lawyers are ready to help you in the fight to appeal the court’s ruling on your civil matter. We will be your advocate and protect your rights during legal proceedings. You can count on us to remain by your side until the end.

Call Wallace Miller at (312) 261-6193 today for your free consultation to learn about the available legal options in your case.

Table Of Contents

    Common Types of Appellate Cases

    The appellate court reviews a lower’s courts challenges to a previous ruling. Typically, you can file an appeal if a legal or procedural error occurred during the initial trial. Simply disagreeing with a jury or judge’s decision isn’t enough to justify appellate litigation.

    Appellate courts don’t consider new witnesses or review the evidence associated with the original case. Another trial doesn’t proceed when a plaintiff pursues an appeal. Instead, the court only considers whether a judge’s interpretation of the law or a procedural error significantly affected the case’s outcome.

    Either party involved in a civil case is allowed to appeal a decision. The defendant or plaintiff can challenge the ruling and request that the court review the circumstances.

    At Wallace Miller, our appellate advocacy lawyers handle appeals involving a range of cases, including:

    • Worksite injuries
    • Personal injury
    • Nursing home abuse and neglect
    • Class action and mass tort lawsuits
    • Defective consumer products, prescription drugs, and medical devices
    • Employment law
    • Wrongful death
    • Vehicle defect and accident injuries
    • Consumer conspiracy and fraud
    • Privacy law and data breach
    • Human rights and sexual abuse
    • Actions under the False Claims Act
    • Environmental and toxic harm

    Wallace Miller can argue your case in a federal circuit court or state appellate court. We have a track record of success in representing individuals harmed by the wrongdoing of others and fighting for fair outcomes in civil litigation.

    Differences Between Trial Court and Appellate Court

    In the federal court system, the circuit court has appellate jurisdiction over cases brought in the district court. The Supreme Court has appellate jurisdiction over decisions the circuit courts make.

    The Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure govern the appellate procedure in the federal court system. Every state also has its own court system allowing for some type of appellate jurisdiction. The states can determine whether they base their appellate jurisdiction on discretionary appeals, appeals as a matter of right, or a combination of both.

    The trial court makes determinations about disputed facts during the trial. Appellate courts typically interpret and address the law and apply it to the facts the trial court previously found. Appellate proceedings often focus on written arguments parties submit related to the legal issues in the case.

    It’s the district court of appeal’s job to review the submitted information and correct mistakes the lower court made that violated the appealing party’s rights and led to an incorrect or unjust ruling.

    Understanding the Elements of an Appeal

    An appeal is a request made by the plaintiff or defendant in a civil case to change the official decision made by an administrative or trial court. The filing party, the appellant, typically wants to overturn the ruling.

    Appellate courts don’t accept and review new evidence. When someone brings an appeal before the appellate court, they don’t try to dispute the facts of the original case. Instead, they argue that the process used to reach a decision contains an error or violation of the law.

    Either party that wants to pursue an appeal must file after the final judgment made by the court. However, beginning the process sooner might be possible. Additionally, it’s critical for an appellate attorney to preserve the necessary information at the trial level so they can pursue an appeal later. Preparing for challenging the court’s decision while handling the original case is essential to maintain evidence of any mistakes made in the initial proceeding.

    Various factors can contribute to an appeal, such as:

    • Lack of substantial evidence – You might be able to appeal on the grounds of a lack of substantial evidence if the evidence presented in the trial court didn’t adequately support the decision made by the judge or jury.
    • Prejudicial error – A prejudicial error is a mistake made during a trial that affects the ruling or assessment of any compensation paid to the winning party. The error must be severe enough to influence the outcome of the case and give the harmed party grounds for appeal.
    • Inappropriate jury instructions – A judge may provide jury instructions that present the law in an incomplete, misleading, or incorrect way to the jury before or during deliberations. Jurors often rely on the judge’s information because they’re unfamiliar with relevant legal principles. Receiving inaccurate information could lead a jury to make a mistake that affects the case’s outcome.

    Standards Appellate Courts Use to Review Appeals

    The court can use various standards of review depending on the circumstances and nature of an appeal. The “de novo” standard refers to a case the court hears as if it’s the first time they hear it. The appellate court decides on the issues without depending on the lower court’s findings of fact. However, the appellate court might use the original trial record to analyze any evidence the attorneys presented.

    Under other circumstances, the appeals court might use the “deferential abuse of discretion” standard. The court assesses whether the decision in the initial case was unreasonable, arbitrary, or unsupported by the facts.

    How to Pursue an Appeal

    You must follow multiple steps to file an appeal. Not all states require the same steps. Some differ, but most are the same or similar depending on where you live.

    Before filing your appeal, you should contact Wallace Miller. One of our appellate advocacy lawyers can represent you during the appeals process. If you handle your case alone, you will likely make an error that negatively affects the court’s decision. We can file the appeal for you and complete every step on your behalf.

    Notice of Appeal

    The first step is to file your Notice of Appeal with the trial court. This is a formal notice informing the court and other parties involved in the case that you intend to file an appeal. You must include the order, judgment, or decision involved in the original case. Some states also require a summary of your grounds for appeal.

    When you file, you also have to pay a filing fee. Fees vary depending on the state in which you reside. You can request a waiver based on your income if you can’t afford to pay the fee. However, if you hire Wallace Miller to represent you, we might be able to cover the cost if we take your case on contingency.

    File an Administrative Record

    Some states require a separate document containing administrative information regarding what happened in court within a specific number of days from filing the Notice of Appeal.

    Order Trial Transcripts

    If the initial case went to trial, you must order a copy of the transcripts of the trial. The transcript will include the testimony of any witnesses and the parties involved in the case and the arguments made before the judge.

    Typically, the trial court clerk creates a record and transfers it to the appeals court. The record includes all documentation associated with the case, including the transcripts. Even though it’s the lower court’s responsibility, confirming that the clerk transferred the record is a good idea.

    Prepare and File a Brief

    You must prepare a brief that includes attachments or separately filed documents to support your arguments. The court will review the brief and associated documents and determine whether they agree with your arguments. The opposing party will receive a copy of your brief and decide whether they want to present contrary arguments.

    Lawyer Arguments

    The court might schedule a date for the attorneys for each side to make an oral argument in front of a panel of judges. Anyone can attend, including the appealing party and the responding party.


    The court will issue its decision on the appeal after reviewing documentation and considering any arguments made by the attorneys. The losing party could request a higher court to review the decision. The party that filed the appeal could get a new trial if the court rules in their favor.

    Contact Us

    When you decide to pursue an appeal, you could benefit from enlisting the help of Wallace Miller. We can thoroughly investigate the details and determine whether you have grounds for an appeal. We will research every aspect and create an effective strategy to meet the unique needs of your case. Our team will fight hard to try to reach a favorable outcome.

    If you think an error in your civil case led to an unfair result, call Wallace Miller at (312) 261-6193 for your free consultation with one of our appellate advocacy lawyers.

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