Utah Litigation Attorneys & Appeals Lawyers Salt Lake City
“Only one who is well acquainted with the evils of war can decide how best to wage it.” (Sun Tsu, The Art of War, late 5th Century B.C.)
As Litigation and Appeals Attorneys in Salt Lake City, Utah, the lawyers at J.D. Milliner & Associates will provide high quality strategic advice and representation for your case. Fortunately, litigation is a “civil” form of warfare. Unfortunately, people and businesses can’t always avoid becoming involved in lawsuits. It usually happens when someone either won’t, or just plain can’t, live up to the promises and commitments they’ve made; or when someone wants to be compensated for what they perceive as a wrong inflicted on them by someone else. Some types of cases, such as divorce and probate cases, require some court filings and approvals even when the parties are in complete agreement about what should happen.
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At J.D.Milliner & Associates we regularly engage in litigation in our primary practice areas on behalf of our clients in all state and federal courts. While our philosophy is that litigation should be used sparingly, and generally as a last resort when no other acceptable resolution can be reached, we are ready to roll up our sleeves and get after it if and when the time comes. We make regular appearances in the Utah state, federal and bankruptcy courts, and have a good track record of achieving successful results for our clients.
Generally, the law provides one clear, full and fair opportunity to have a matter heard and decided. But, what happens if the judge or jury gets it wrong? Sometimes, despite their best efforts, judges and juries make mistakes. Believe it or not, they are people too. When a judge or jury makes a mistake on your case that adversely affects your interests, usually the first thing to do is to try to get the judge to correct the error. If that doesn’t work, then you must decide whether to file an appeal, and there are many factors to consider: Is the timing right? How much will it cost? What are my chances of winning? What will I get if I win?
There are two types of appeals: the interlocutory, and the matter of right after a final judgment. Interlocutory appeals is filed before the trial court judge renders his or her final judgment on the case. Parties do not have a right to an interlocutory appeal. To get their appeal heard and decided, they first must convince the appellate court, usually the Utah Court of Appeals or the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, that there is a compelling reason for it to step in and correct a mistake the trial judge has made before he or she makes a final decision on the case. As a result, few petitions for interlocutory are granted. However, if a petition for interlocutory appeals is granted, the probability of success may be somewhat higher than on an appeal as of right after a final judgment.
An appeal as a matter of right after a final judgment is your opportunity to present to the appellate court what you believe were the trial judge’s and/or jury’s mistakes during the case and ask that those mistakes be corrected. It is not a second chance to present your case for a trial and decision by the appellate court instead of the trial court. In fact, if an issue or a piece of evidence was not presented to the trial court first, you probably won’t be able to argue it to the appellate court. As a result, your chances of winning may depend as much, or more, on the trial judge’s mistakes regarding following the applicable legal procedures as on the legal merits of your case. What do you get if you win? Usually, the appellate court reverses the decision of the trial court and sends the case back to the trial judge with instructions regarding how to correct the trial court’s errors.
Appeals are complex animals. They have their own set of procedural rules, timelines and case-law conventions that must be followed or you risk of being dismissed, or having the appellate court otherwise rule against you, without ever getting to the legal merits of your case. For instance, you generally must file a notice of appeal with the clerk of the trial court (not the appellate court) within 30 days after the judgment was entered against you by the trial judge, or you will lose your right to appeal. As a result, you want an advocate who understands the nuances of the appellate process and is experienced at crafting and presenting persuasive and winning arguments.
At J.D. Milliner & Associates, our Utah appeal attorneys can help you through the appellate process of any type of case, civil or criminal, from beginning to end. If you are thinking of bringing an appeal, we will review the merits of your case and help you make an informed decision about whether to move forward and, if so, what issues should be raised and how to properly present them to the appellate court. If you won at trial, we will work to preserve your judgment in the most efficient way possible. There may be jurisdictional or procedural issues, such as a lack of issue preservation, that we will bring to the appellate court’s attention while also defending the merits of your judgment. We also consult with other attorneys on matters such as preserving issues for appeal, deciding whether to appeal and when, evaluating strengths and weaknesses of potential issues, editing briefs, and preparing for oral argument.
Call us today 801-505-5600 to see how our Litigation and Appellate Attorneys in Salt Lake City can help you!
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