What is the difference between a trial and an appeal?
At trial, evidence is presented from both sides and the court makes a ruling based on the law and facts of the case. During an appeal, there is no new evidence presented and the Court of Appeal does not merely re-hear the case. Rather, based on the record and the law, appellate attorneys present legal and policy arguments as to why the decision at the trial level was erroneous and prejudicial to a party. The Court of Appeal focuses on questions of law.
Consulting Prior to the Appeal
Often it is a good idea to have an appellate attorney consult prior to completing the trial. It is important to make a complete record, preserve your objections, and request a Statement of Decision. The Statement of Decision is an important piece of this record because it provides the court of appeal with a roadmap for how the court reached its conclusions and how and why it ruled on each contested issue. If it is not in the record provided to the Court of Appeal, it will not be considered.
Advocating for you
Courts are not always perfect and sometimes, like people, they make mistakes. When that happens, your recourse is to appeal the decision to a higher court. At Storm Family Law, P.C. we can review your case and determine if it merits an appeal. If you believe the court made a prejudicial error in your case, we can advocate to get that error corrected.
The Court of Appeal has the authority to overturn a decision made by a trial court. The Court of Appeal helps shape the law we follow and at Storm Family Law, P.C., we can argue your issues and be part of that process.