Four Facts about the United States Court of Appeals

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Anyone who is convicted of a crime has a right to appeal the conviction if they feel the law was not correctly applied to their case. If you are considering filing a formal appeal, it is necessary to find find an appeal lawyer. The United States Court of Appeals (also known as circuit courts) operates in a distinctly different manner than trial courts. There are rules and procedures specific to the U.S. Court of Appeals, and an appellate attorney is intimately familiar with conducting appeals cases. Criminal lawyers may not be able to effectively argue your appeals case. Before you find an appeal lawyer, here are some facts about the court of appeals.

    1. The 13 circuit courts in the United States that are designated based on geographic location.
    There are eleven circuits referred to by their number (e.g., the sixth circuit), one circuit for the nation’s capital (the D.C. circuit), and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. The latter hears appeals from all over the country based on the subject of the appeal.

    2. The Court of Appeals does not consider the facts of the case.
    The legal attorney presents the facts of the case during the trial. Facts of the case are not disputed in the appellate court. The role of the circuit court is to evaluate if the law was appropriately applied to facts established in the trial. A federal appeals attorney composes a brief, which is a written summary of the case and the reasons the lawyer believes the law was erroneously applied.

    3. The United States Court of Appeals is the most influential court in America.
    The rulings of circuit courts are published and often serve as models for future cases. Cases on subjects such as access to the internet, freedom of expression, and privacy are often heard in the U.S. Court of Appeals because the law is slow to adapt to the rapidly developing field of technology. When a ruling is made in an appeals case, later cases rely on the circuit court’s interpretation of the law.

    4. The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest federal court in the country.
    If an appeal is rejected in circuit court, the appeals lawyer can apply to have the Supreme Court review the case. Only a small fraction of cases are heard by the Supreme Court each year, and those that do establish legal precedents that other courts must follow.

The above facts outline the differences between trial and appellate courts and highlight how important it is to find an appeal lawyer if you decide to appeal. More.

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