statue of lady justice

Pasco County, Florida Appeals Attorney

Wendy Doyle-Palumbo Esq. is an experienced appellate law firm serving the Tampa Bay area, including Pasco, Hernando, and Citrus Counties. We offer a comprehensive appellate practice within our areas of expertise. Appeals attorney Wendy Doyle-Palumbo has been practicing law for more than 30 years and will fight in the appellate court to earn the results you deserve. We manage appeals within the realms of personal injury and family law in the state of Florida. If you need help through the appeals process, contact us today.

Why Do You Need an Appeals Attorney?

New laws and legislations are passed every year – and appellate courts hand down new decisions every day. Given how rapidly the legal landscape evolves, an appeals attorney is crucial in understanding new developments in your state and how they may impact your case.

An appellate lawyer is trained to keep a close eye on changes to the state’s law and examine the strategies needed to create a successful appeal. At Wendy Doyle-Palumbo Esq., our team has a proven track record in appellate advocacy. No matter the circumstances, we will stay vigilant in earning the decision that’s in your best interests.

What Is an Appeal?

If you are unhappy with the official decision of a judge, you may file an appeal to have your case reviewed by a higher court. Appeals are a process to correct errors, re-evaluate a case, and clarify the law. Appellate courts will either affirm, reverse, or vacate the decision made by the lower court.

What is the Deadline to File an Appeal?

Per the Florida Rules of Appellate Procedure, you have 30 days to file an appeal after the court decision is announced. If you are unsatisfied with a verdict, you cannot waste any time getting in touch with an appeals attorney!

Types of Appeals We Handle

Family Law

Family law cases involve many variables – and the court’s decision may need to be re-examined. We handle a broad range of family law case appeals and will guide you through the process of challenging an unfavorable decision through appellate litigation. These include:

  • Divorce
  • Alimony
  • Child Custody
  • Child Support
  • Establishing Paternity
  • Same-Sex Divorce

Personal Injury Law

Not all personal injury cases go to trial. If yours does – you may need to prepare for an appeal. At Wendy Doyle-Palumbo Esq., we’ll help you in challenging the court’s decision and achieving the justice you deserve. We manage an array of personal injury appeals, including:

  • Car Accidents
  • Motorcycle Accidents
  • Commercial Trucking Accidents
  • Boating Accidents
  • Wrongful Death
  • Premise Liability
  • Pedestrian Accidents
  • Diminishing Value Claims

The Top Reasons to Appeal a Decision

A big misconception in the appeals process is that appellate courts only deal with legal errors. In reality, an appeal can be based on many different grounds. The most common grounds for appeals include (but are not limited to):

Important Evidence Was Excluded During Trial

Insufficiency of evidence is a common ground for appeal. In this scenario, an appeals attorney will argue that the evidence presented during the trial was not substantial enough – or the facts of the case were in dispute – to support the jury’s decision.

The Judge Abused His/Her Discretion

Judges have the power to decide how numerous factors play into a trial. This includes what evidence to admit, who can testify, how to apply “weight” to certain factors, etc. If a judge does something that goes beyond the discretion allowed in court, you may have grounds for an appeal.

Jury Misconduct

Jury misconduct can encompass many different factors. If a member of the jury was under the influence of drugs or alcohol during the trial/deliberations or there were inappropriate communications between the jurors, counsel, or witnesses, you may appeal the decision.

Jury Bias During Selection

In some scenarios, the jury selection may result in unreasonable judgment. This may stem from issues of racial bias, prejudice, mental illness, or anything else that influences a juror’s decision to be unjust. In this situation, you will need an experienced appellate lawyer on your side.

There Was a Court Error Made by the Judge

Legal errors are one of the most common grounds for appeals. This generally means the judge applied incorrect state rules or standards to the facts of your case. The state of Florida has many factors that determine personal injury and family law cases – if these are not followed, you may file an appeal.

The Appeal Process in the State of Florida

The appeal process can vary based on the type of case and/or the type of court. Here is how the general process works:

Notice of Appeal

The first step in the appellate process is to file the Notice of Appeal with the clerk of the trial court. This initiates the process to overturn the final order or judgment of the case. The Notice of Appeal MUST be filed within 30 days of the decision.

Prepare the Record

Step two involves the appellate lawyer assembling records of the trial. This includes the transcripts, documents filed with the court, and the orders/judgments passed down. Your appellate attorney must ensure all relevant information is included.

Docketing Statements

This step involves filing statements that identify the parties involved, attorneys, and the issues that are to be reviewed – based on the appellate court.

The Briefs

The briefs present the facts and legal arguments for why you believe the court’s decision should be reversed or affirmed. The appellant first submits the initial brief, which is responded to with the answer brief from the appellee, then the appellant can rebut the argument with the reply brief.

Arguments (Oral)

Oral arguments are not always required in the appellate process. If your case requires this, you will need a skilled appellate attorney on your side to ensure the argument is presented properly.

The Decision

The final stage involves a written decision made by the appellate court to either reverse or affirm the trial court’s order/judgment. Now, these are not the only potential outcomes. In some cases, there may be a reversal/affirmation with the requirement of further proceedings.

Why Hire Us?

Our Track Record in Appellate Court

We have developed a very strong record for successful appellate litigation for more than a decade. When we agree to take an appeal, it’s because we know we can win it!

Experience in the Appellate Process

Appeals are one of our core specialties at Wendy Doyle-Palumbo Esq. Attorney Palumbo is extremely well-versed in Florida’s complex appellate process – and how to earn the best results.

Available 24/7

The appeals process requires excellent timing. No matter what issues or questions you have, we are available to help around the clock.

Clear, Easy-to-Understand Communication

Florida law is complicated – that’s why we’re here. Our top priority is to make sure clients understand the details of their case, without getting lost in a sea of jargon.

Personalized Attention

The lawyers you see on TV and billboards commonly pass cases off to assistants/paralegals after the initial consultation. If you work with me, your entire case is handled by a specialized appellate attorney.

A Relentless Dedication to Client Justice

We live by one core philosophy: your success is our success. If you’re the victim of an unreasonable court decision, we’re behind you 110 percent.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if I can appeal a decision?

Before filing an appeal, you need to be sure that you are an eligible party. From here, there must have been a decision made in court, an order that can be appealed, or an order after judgment – of which is appealable. Most importantly, there must have been a court error, fact, or procedure in your trial that justifies an appeal. These are all factors an appellate attorney will confirm.

What is my first step in filing an appeal?

Step one in the appellate process is to file a “notice of appeal.” This must be filed with the trial court to initiate the process.

Do I need an attorney for my appeal?

Technically no – you are free to represent yourself in appellate court. However, your chances of winning the results you want go drastically down if you opt to represent yourself. This is not advised.

How long do I have to file an appeal?

In the state of Florida, you have 30 days to file an appeal.

How long does it take to get a decision from the appellate court?

The appellate process can be quite lengthy – and there isn’t a definitive answer here. Your appellate attorney will need to collect transcripts from the trial, then briefs (and responses to briefs) from both sides must be submitted, and the panel of judges must review the case. Additionally, there may be a need for oral arguments before a decision is made, and there might be post-decision motions that extend the process. Every appeal is unique – and the timelines may be different.

Can the appellate court deny my appeal?

Yes. The appellate court can turn down your appeal if they determine it’s a non-appealable order. The highest appellate courts – like the Florida Supreme Court – can decide which cases they want to accept at their discretion. There are only a handful of orders in which the higher courts are required to accept and review.

How many types of appeals are there?

There are two types of appeals recognized by most jurisdictions. There is a direct appeal, in which the appellant files their appeal with the next higher court of review. The other type of appeal is a collateral appeal. This is where the appellant files their appeal or motion in the court of “first instance” – which is typically the court that tried the case.

Direct appeals only review evidence that was presented in the trial. Collateral appeals allow the review of additional evidence – including affidavits, witness statements, or depositions that were not presented during the trial.

How is the appellate court structured in Florida?

The state of Florida’s court system has three tiers – two are appellate. All appellate proceedings are run by the Florida Rules of Appellate Procedure. The county and circuit courts carry out trials where actions are filed.

Circuit courts have some appellate authority – final orders in county courts are appealable in some situations. Circuit trial courts have jurisdiction of appeals from county courts. However, they do not have jurisdiction over county court orders/judgments which are declared invalid in relation to a state statute or a provision of the state’s constitution.

District courts of appeal have appellate jurisdiction in most standard cases. There are five district courts of appeal. The First District Court of Appeal is in Tallahassee; the Second District of Appeal is in Lakeland; the Third District of Appeal is in Miami; the Fourth District of Appeal is in West Palm Beach; the Fifth District of Appeal is in Daytona Beach.

The Supreme Court of Florida is the highest in the state. This court reviews the decisions of all the district courts of appeal.

Contact a Florida Appeals Attorney Today

For any questions or concerns about the appellate court for personal injury or family law cases, contact our team ASAP. We’ll provide all the answers and guidance you need.

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