If you’re looking for a New Orleans Appeals Attorney, there are a few things that you should know.
First, a New Orleans Appeals Attorney will be an attorney who regularly practices before the appeals courts in New Orleans. For example, there is the Louisiana Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, which is the appeals court on Royal Street in New Orleans that hears appeals from New Orleans, St. Bernard Parish, and Plaquemines Parish. The Louisiana Supreme Court is also in the same building and also hears appeals from the entire state.
A New Orleans Appeals Attorney can also easily handle appeals from the Louisiana Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, which is the appeals court on the Westbank in Gretna that hears appeals from Jefferson Parish, St. Charles Parish, St. John Parish, and St. James Parish.
And an experienced New Orleans Appeals Attorney can also handle federal appeals at the United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals on Camp Street in downtown New Orleans.
HOW A NEW ORLEANS APPEALS ATTORNEY WORKS
An appeal (or in some cases a supervisory writ) is your chance to challenge a decision from the district court that you think is wrong. This could be anything from a criminal conviction in a criminal case to a motion for summary judgment in a civil case.
Regardless of the subject matter of your appeal, it is important to know how an appeal is different than a trial or a motion before the district court. Appeals courts, or appellate courts as they are sometimes called, are secondary courts of review and not courts of first instance that hear and receive evidence. That means appeals courts review decisions previously made by the district court judge – they do not hear new evidence presented by lawyers for the first time.
In practical terms, this means that a New Orleans appeal, just like all appeals in Louisiana, will take place almost entirely on written, paper submissions to the appeals court. These written submissions are called “briefs” – the person taking the appeal, the appellant, files an appellant brief and the person defending against an appeal, the appellee, files an appellee brief in response.
Importantly, a Louisiana appeals court will not hear testimony from live witnesses or from the parties to a case the way a trial court does. Instead the appeals court will review the appeals brief that your appellate lawyer submits on your behalf. This is a legal filing that can be up to 30 pages in length and focuses on errors that the trial court judge made. It is not a “second trial” or “do over” trial.
Another thing to consider when hiring a New Orleans appellate attorney is their experience in handling appeals. Just like you would not want to go to a foot doctor for brain surgery, you do not want to go just any attorney for your appeal. You want a New Orleans attorney that specializes in appeals because appellate practice is a specific, technical area of law that requires a very particular set of skills and experience.
At the Law Office of Sam Winston, we specialize in doing appeals across the entire state of Louisiana. Because half of our practice focuses exclusively on appeals, we know what kind of legal writing and research is required to win on appeal. Additionally, we are former law clerks who have worked for district court judges and appeals court judges. We know what it’s like to be on the inside of a judges’ chambers reviewing written work by other attorneys.
If you need help with your appeal, write us a note here or give us a call at 504-577-2500 to tell us about your case.