Cases and controversies are initially decided before a trial court which is charged with the legal duty of making findings of fact and conclusions of law. Trial courts serve as finders of fact either through juries in jury trials, judges in non-jury bench trials or via an administrative law judge in administrative actions. During the course of litigation, a trial court makes a number of legal rulings based on motions presented by the parties and also regarding admissibility of evidence and in determining which jury instructions will be utilized by the jury in deciding a case. Such rulings and decisions of a trial court are critically important in determining the chances of success of competing parties in litigation. Often these rulings are reached in error where a judge abuses their discretion, fails to follow applicable binding legal precedent, exceeds their jurisdiction, or otherwise acts in a manner inconsistent with the applicable rules and laws.
In some instances, the rules permit a party to file an interlocutory appeal from a non-final order while an action is still pending in the trial court. However, in most instances a party wishing to pursue their appellate remedies must wait until a final order is entered in the case which renders a ruling for and against the parties.
Appellate litigation is the practice of reexamining the findings of fact and rulings on legal issues reached by a trial court or administrative body at the trial level. Almost all judicial actions are subject to judicial review by a separate, independent appellate court that often employ a panel of several judges to examine the propriety of actions taken by a trial court. On appeal the party contesting a ruling or outcome from a trial court is referred to as an appellant, while the party defending the action is referred to as the appellee. Appellants request an appellate court reverse findings of the trial court and remand for further proceedings in the trial court consistent with proper legal standards. Conversely, appellees defend the actions of a trial court and request that an appellate court affirm the actions of the lower court.
Appellate cases generally involve legal briefs, all of which must contain citations to cases and statutory or other legal authorities. Briefs must also contain proper citation to the designated appellate record.
Appellate litigation is a unique practice within the litigation process oftentimes requiring attorneys to employ a scholarly treatment of complex legal issues. Through advanced planning and research, careful and creative analysis, staying abreast of changes in the law, and creative and clear writing, our attorneys prosecute and defend interlocutory and final judgment appeals
In Florida, trial court actions originating in the county courts are typically appealed to the circuit court acting in its appellate capacity. Circuit court trial cases are generally appealed to one of five district courts of appeal in Florida. The Supreme Court of Florida has limited jurisdiction to hear cases that may only be invoked by application of specific statutes or state constitutional provisions.
Federal court actions in Florida originate in one of three United States District Courts in Florida. These courts are the Southern District of Florida, the Middle District of Florida, and the Northern District of Florida. These three district courts serve as the trial court for federal actions in Florida. Appeals from these actions are made to a panel of several judges in the United States Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeal based in Atlanta, Georgia.
The appellate attorneys at Xander Law Group, P.A. have decades of extensive experience in litigating appellate matters at all levels in both federal and Florida state court actions, as well having litigated federal matters before other federal circuit courts of appeal. The appellate team at Xander Law Group, P.A. has a broad base of experience in litigating appellate matters involving business law disputes, general civil litigation, personal injury matters, bankruptcy proceedings, commercial litigation, criminal defense matters, criminal post-conviction motions, and administrative actions.
Caution must be exercised if you or your company may desire to explore and preserve your appellate rights because almost all courts impose a strict jurisdictional deadline of ten to thirty days in submitting your formal written notice of appeal after the event or ruling which is the subject of the appeal. This requirement is jurisdictional, which means that if the deadline is missed you will lose your appellate rights forever.
At Xander Law Group our attorneys will assess your case and determine if you may pursue a timely appeal as part of a free consultation we offer to all potential clients. Appellate cases are litigated using written briefs submitted via electronic filing. This process makes it extremely easy for our clients to retain us in any Florida appellate matter or even those in other federal circuits because there is not a need for frequent travel to court proceedings.