Charleston Appeals Attorney
Did you know that a judge or jury’s decision is not necessarily the final word in your legal matter? Our legal system recognizes that all people and all systems sometimes err, so it is designed to allow you, the citizen, to appeal most court decisions to a higher court. Appellate law, the practice and procedure of appealing a court’s “final” decision, is an area where it is often difficult to find experienced and knowledgeable legal counsel who can act on your behalf in a prompt and timely fashion.
The partners of Kidd Corvey & Simpson have spent several years of their careers employed by South Carolina’s Appellate Court System and can navigate its often confusing rules and procedures. In addition to their appellate court experience, our lawyers have successful tried countless cases to jury verdict. That trial litigation experience is vital to being able to diagnose your case and determine possible avenues and grounds for appeal. If you feel that you’ve been affected by an erroneous or mistaken court decision, call us promptly. Time is often of the essence for successfully appealing your criminal, civil, or family court decision.
Frequently Asked Questions
Although most believe that a Judge’s word is the final answer in their case, there are, in fact, Judges who judge the decisions of other courts. The process by which a litigant challenges a ruling by a court they believe was made in error is called an appeal. In an appeal, you are essentially saying that the court that heard your case made a mistake and that you would like it corrected.
Generally speaking, an appeal must allege an error of law, i.e. that a law or rule was ignored or misapplied in your case. Typically, allegations that a court was wrong in its understanding of the facts is not appealable. In other words, the fact that a Judge or jury believed the other side’s witnesses over your witnesses is typically not something that can be appealed. This distinction, between issues of law and fact, is often hard to understand and the line can be blurry. If you feel something wrong happened in your case, call an experienced appellate attorney, like the partners of Kidd Corvey & Simpson, for a free consultation to explore your right to appeal.
Jurisdictional questions can be complex, but generally speaking, a magistrate or municipal case will be appealed to the Circuit Court in the same jurisdiction. A Circuit Court or Family Court decision would be appealed to the South Carolina Court of Appeals. A decision of the Court of Appeals would be appealed to the South Carolina Supreme Court, the highest state court. In some cases, jurisdiction will lie in the federal system, which has its own appellate system.
No. There are fairly strict time constraints within which one must notify the court of their intent to appeal the decision. These rules vary, but commonly do not allow much time to preserve your right to appeal a court’s decision. If you feel a court made a mistake in your case, it is important that you get in touch with an experienced appellate attorney as quickly as possible.