Protecting Your Ability to Appeal Early

If you appeal a judgment that went against you, an appellate court will be deciding your case. However, an appeal is not necessarily a repeat of the proceedings in the trial court. Primarily through written briefs, lawyers point to what the trial court did. They argue about whether the trial court’s decisions or actions were appropriate. The appellate court may then affirm, modify, or reverse the trial court’s decision. The appellate court can also order the trial court to hold more hearings or improve upon its prior decision.

What To Do While On Appeal

However, if the trial court was not asked to make a decision on a certain issue, the appellate court will typically not consider that issue on appeal. This is known as the rule of preservation. If a party did not make the argument below, you cannot make the argument before the appellate court unless the trial court made an obvious and harmful mistake.

This means that it is imperative that you get your case right the first time. Evidence must be brought in and arguments must be made to the trial court so that if the trial court makes a mistake, your appellate attorneys can argue about it on appeal. At Christensen Law, we have experience both with trial courts and appellate courts. We can help you identify what arguments you have for appeal and also help you start in the trial court on the right foot.