Each state and the federal district court answers to a court of appeals which presides over the lower-level trial courts. All of these appellate courts implement similar processes to administer cases from filing through the final decision. Within a certain period of time after a final judgment is entered in the lower court, the litigants most always may file a "notice of appeal" which transfers the case up to an appellate court. In the weeks that follow, the party initiating the appeal (the "appellant") must see to it that the trial court's staff collect and deliver to the appellate court all relevant transcripts from hearings and the trial, along with pertinent supporting documents (which altogether is known as the "record on appeal"). Simultaneously, appellant's counsel should begin formulating the arguments that will persuade the appellate judges to either order a new trial or a new sentencing (or in rare instances, an outright dismissal of charges). Once the "record" of the case has been sent to the appellate court, it will issue a briefing schedule instructing the parties when to file their respective briefs (which contain their arguments).
In the next entry, we will discuss specific aspects of appellate briefs.
Jonathan Laurans wants you to be educated as to what you may be facing. If you or a loved one has been convicted of a crime in Missouri, Kansas or Texas, or in any federal court, contact him immediately. Visit his website at www.kansascitymoattorney.com and then call him at (816) 421-5200 for a FREE initial legal consultation.