What is an Appeal?
An appeal is a request to a higher court to review a decision made in a completed trial or proceeding. Most legal disputes are initially decided by trial courts. After a trial or proceeding is completed, if the defendant is dissatisfied with the outcome and believes an error was made that adversely affected the result, he or she may file an appeal in the appropriate Court of Appeal.
This is an audio recording from my appearance on KALW, Local Public Radio 91.7 FM in San Francisco.
By Chuck Finney
Appellate Law. Guests: Myron Moskovitz, Appellate Law attorney and retired Constitutional Law Professor at Golden Gate University School of Law; Fay Arfa, California Board of Legal Specialization (CBLS) Certified Specialist in Appellate Law and in Criminal Law, and Certified Criminal Law Trial Advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocacy (NBTA); and Paul Katz, CBLS Certified Specialist in Appellate Law.
KALW.ORG|BY CHUCK FINNEY
What do the Courts of Appeal decide?
The Courts of Appeal decide questions of law, such as whether the trial court judge applied the law correctly in a case. The Courts of Appeal do not hear testimony or retry cases. An appeal from a trial court judgment is decided based on the record from the original trial or proceeding. Issues brought to a Court of Appeal for review commonly include claims such as an incorrect ruling on admissibility of evidence, incorrect application of a law or regulation, improper jury instructions, and insufficient evidence to support the verdict.
What's the difference between a writ and an appeal?
Writs usually are considered to be extraordinary remedies, meaning they are permitted only when the defendant has no other adequate remedy, such as an appeal. A defendant may take a writ to contest a point that the defendant cannot raise on appeal.
A writ of habeas corpus (literally to “produce the body”) is a court order to a person (prison warden) or agency (institution) holding someone in custody to deliver the imprisoned individual to the court issuing the order.
Other Post Conviction Remedies:
- Motion for a New Trial
- State Court Habeas Corpus Petitions
- Federal Habeas Corpus Petition to District Court
- Appeal of Habeas Corpus Petition to Circuit Court
- Appeal of Federal Habeas Corpus Petition to U.S. Supreme Court
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