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Ask An Attorney: Should I appeal?

I was just involved in a hotly contested family law trial and I am not happy with what the judge did.  Should I appeal?

Family cases can be so difficult – they can involve what matters to us most, our families and our children in particular, plus complex financial issues.  If you were unable to resolve the issues and had a contested trial, chances are you are not happy with everything the judge did.  It is also likely you spent a lot of money on attorneys’ fees and costs!  The issue of whether to appeal a judge’s decision is also complex, however.

First there are strict time requirements therefore if you want to pursue an appeal, you should consult with your trial lawyer and/or an appellate lawyer as soon as possible.  In addition, appeals are costly so it is important to get an opinion from a lawyer who can give you an idea of whether it is worth your while or whether there could be other steps to take.  Generally, the appellate courts review whether the trial judge applied the law properly and will not retry the facts of the case. It is not easy to get an appellate court to reverse what the trial court did.  Family law cases involve so many different issues, however, that the appellate courts review the cases closely and will reverse either part or all of a case if the trial court has made a legal error.

The family law attorneys of Hillman, Brown and Darrow, P.A. not only handle all aspects of your case whether it is settled or tried, but are also experienced in appeals of family law cases, even if we were not involved in the trial.  If your lawyer does not handle appeals or you want a second opinion, feel free to contact us to review and develop a plan for addressing whether appealing your case makes sense or whether there are other post-trial steps that might be beneficial. Contact our office to talk to one of our Annapolis attorneys today at (410) 263-3131.