Sometimes things do not go well at a hearing or trial even when you do everything right. So you ask yourself, now what? Is that the end of the story? Not necessarily. Depending on several factors, you might be able to file a writ or an appeal. However, time is of the essence and it is crucial that you contact an appellate attorney immediately after your ruling to determine your options and next steps. Laurie Peters & Associates, APLC has experienced attorneys who can help.
Navigating the higher courts is difficult, and the process requires precision. If the process and rules are not followed properly, the entire appeal can be dismissed. You must accurately explain why your case is appealable, and if not, you must explain why you are seeking a writ and the type of writ.
Part of the process requires a summary detailing the error of the lower court, and identification of the proper standard of review for the appeal. This must be done with precision.
It is important to be aware that appellate courts do not weigh credibility. All factual findings by a lower court are considered to be true. They will not reweigh the facts unless the appeal is based on a de novo review. This occurs only if the lower court misapplied the law or had improper interpretation of a contract.
The standards of review at the appellate level are: Substantial Evidence, Abuse of Discretion, and Misapplication of the Law.
Substantial evidence would make it highly unlikely you will win on appeal in Ventura County. Any evidence, including implied findings, is enough to affirm the lower court. Even if the burden is high for the lower court, if there is any evidence at all, the trial court will be affirmed.
Abuse of discretion would require you to prove that no judge anywhere could have possibly made the decision it did. Even if the justices at the appellate court would have made a different decision, they will affirm the trial court unless no one could have decided as the lower court did.
Misapplication of the law. If the trial court misapplied the law, you have your best opportunity to succeed on an appeal, but that is not always as simple as it sounds.
If it looks like your case is heading in the wrong direction, it may be important to hire an appellate lawyer to help you make a proper record for an appeal. Objections and arguments not made during a trial or hearing are waived. An appellate lawyer can assist with seeking a proper statement of decision to assure the appellate court is aware of what and why the lower court decided as it did. It would then be easier to have the ruling corrected on appeal, if necessary.
The attorneys at Laurie Peters & Associates, APLC know how to assist you in the event that you need a writ or appeal. Call today for a low-cost initial consultation.