If you went to trial and were convicted, you are not yet at the end of the road. The next step in fighting your case is appeal.
Appeals are very different from trials. Trials are about the facts — what happened, who did what, etc. Appeals, however, are about whether the trial judge followed the law. If you hire us to pursue an appeal on your behalf, our team of specialist lawyers will review every aspect of your case from arrest to verdict. We will read the motions, decisions, and the trial transcript, and we will interview your trial lawyer and comb their file front to back for appealable issues. We then present those issues to the District Court Appellate Division, Massachusetts Appeals Court or Supreme Judicial Court in a written document called a “brief.”
After both sides have filed briefs, the appellate court may order the lawyers to come in and argue their case, or they may decide the case on written submissions. The result of the case is a published opinion that becomes a legal precedent for future cases. If the appellate court decides that the trial proceedings were fair and legal, they will “affirm” the decision from the trial court. If they agree that there was something wrong, they will “reverse” the judgment and “remand” it back to the trial court, meaning they send it back with specific instructions. Those instructions can range from entering a “not guilty” verdict on one or more counts, to an order to re-try the case.
You can watch a video of Attorney Piltser Cowan arguing before the Supreme Judicial Court on a case about breathalyzers here. (Video courtesy of Suffolk Law School).
Appeals will generally cost between $10,000 and $30,000, depending on the complexity of the case.