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Why Handling Your Appeal Alone is Risky

It is not uncommon to determine that you no longer wish to work with your trial attorney when it’s time to file an appeal — even if you believe that your attorney did the best job possible to represent your interests.  However, considering the highly complicated nature of Shreveport appellate law, it is generally in your best interest to be represented by an attorney in an appeal.

An appeal is a very technical proceeding that should be handled by an experienced attorney. It is very challenging for a non-lawyer to successfully handle an appeal in Louisiana.  Each appellate court has very specific rules regarding formatting of briefs including, but not limited to, paper and font size; required content and order of presentation; length of appeal brief, proper citations to law and the record; and deadlines for filing.   Although it can be a monumental task, meeting the minimum formatting requirements is only the first part of the battle.  Persuasively presenting facts and argument to encourage an appellate judge to agree with your position is the most difficult part of an appeal.

Many trial lawyers will not even accept an appeal case because they recognize that the process of an appeal is quite different from trial law. Different talents are required to succeed in an appellate law case, which is why it’s in your best interest to communicate with an appellate attorney in Shreveport sooner rather than later to ensure proper representation in your case.

Even if your trial lawyer is interested in working the appeal, assistance from an appellate lawyer more familiar with the procedures of the  appellate level may still be advantageous. Bear in mind that a decision on an appeal can take a long time, so hiring an appellate attorney who is already familiar with the rules and laws applicable in your case can help you make the most of time and limit the possibility of delays.   Appellate law is complicated and requires the insight of a talented attorney who is knowledgeable about applicable Louisiana laws and statutes and the procedures related to your situation.