Do you understand how appeals work?

There may come a time when you find yourself not only in handcuffs but also behind bars in an Arizona jail cell. Should your case proceed so far that you have to go before a judge to receive a verdict, you may decide to appeal the decision.

The American Bar Association takes a deep dive into the appeals process. If you have a court date, arm yourself with knowledge, so you understand your options.

How appeals work

One of the first things you should know is that you can only appeal a verdict when you have a valid legal reason, not just because you do not agree with the decision. For instance, maybe you feel there were missteps in the legal procedure or misinterpretations of the most current law as it applies to your case. Also, you and your legal team cannot admit new evidence or bring in new witnesses if your appeal request goes through.


As the person bringing forth the appeal, you become the appellant, sometimes referred to as the petitioner, while the other party becomes the appellee, sometimes called the respondent. You need to file a notice of appeal and an accompanying brief that lays out a legal strategy for appealing the initial decision.

The appeals process

Your brief could prove sufficient enough for the appeals court to make a decision. On the other hand, an oral argument could become necessary. You stand the best chance of a favorable outcome, such as a new trial or a modified judgment, by proving an error of law. That said, the appeals court could view your error of law as a harmless error, which may not be enough to justify a reversal.

This information is only intended to educate and should not be interpreted as legal advice.

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The Nolan Law Firm