Ask Your Appellate Lawyer the Hard Questions
Searching for lawyers for disability appeals? Was your claim denied? Rest assured that, unless special circumstances apply, virtually anyone has the right to an appeal. It’s particularly true with regard to disability claims.
You want to be able to place the utmost of trust in your appellate attorney, regardless of the nature of your case. In criminal cases, the appeal process asks that the higher court examine the trial proceedings to determine if an error may have occurred that could have put a spin on the outcome or imposed sentence.Top appeal attorneys understand how this process works and their presentation is crucial to the outcome.
When looking for a federal appeal attorney, examine the track record closely. All of them will make claims about fighting every angle and following your case down every possible avenue, but that’s just the nature of how they market themselves. Here’s a list of questions you should be asking once you’ve decided to retain appellate lawyers, whether they be lawyers for criminal appeals, lawyers for civil appeals or lawyers for disability appeals.
In How Many Appeals Have You Been the Acting Appellate Council?
Multiple names are on the docket in most cases, but you want to know how often your particular attorney has truly acted as appellate council, i.e., prepared the briefs and argued the case.
Are You Certified as a Specialist in Appellate Law?
Each state has a State Bar Board of Legal Specialization certification, and you want to make sure your attorney is an actual specialist in the appellate field.
What’s Your rate of Success?
Here’s an area where numbers can be misleading, since only about 20% of civil appeals actually end in reversal. So, the number of actual wins isn’t nearly as important as the rate. Hard as it may be to hear sometimes, a good appellate attorney will be honest with you if they feel your case is without merit.
What’s Your Reputation Like?
Ask if there are any outside sources you can look into that have ranked your prospective attorney, or if there are others in the field that endorse them. Check online for peer review ratings systems for more information.
Book smarts aren’t everything, but nothing builds a solid attorney like solid research in their field of specialty. In this case, have they ever been a research attorney or clerk in an appellate court?
Try and ascertain your counsel’s writing skill since a balance of brevity and persuasiveness is key to winning any legal battle.
Asking pointed questions like these may seem difficult, but lawyers of all kinds understand the need to ask tough questions both in and out of court – don’t be shy, they aren’t. After all, if you don’t trust your attorney… who can you trust?
Whether you’re looking for a criminal appeal attorney or lawyers for disability appeals, an understanding of the appellate processes is paramount to presenting a good case. With over 10,000 cases filed each term with the court of appeals, you need to make sure your reasoning is sharp and your case undeniable.
Good references here.