Schifanelli Law, LLP
Contact US (410) 263-0028
Contact Schifanelli Law, LLP at 410-263-0028 for an initial consultation with an experienced Annapolis lawyer.
2450 Riva Rd., Suite 201, Annapolis, Maryland 21401.
The fact is, Judges do get it wrong sometimes (some more often than others). We appreciate that they're human too. As are the government bureaucrats that are deciding your State benefits applications, or a "for cause" determination. They are even more prone to legal error. So when legal or procedural errors occur during trials, admin hearings, and in final rulings, one potential remedy is to file an appeal.
Successfully appealing a case to a higher court or administrative office takes a unique set of legal advocacy skills. Some lawyers, as they say, are excellent in making their client's case in the courtroom. They are quick and savvy, for example, with regard to questioning "hostile" witnesses and cross-examination - drawing out the relevant facts.
On the contrary, good appeal attorneys rely on a slow, methodical approach to determine the appealable issues and to write sound legal arguments.
Most appeals rely on the written record from the trial court, including the written transcripts and any documents that were admitted into evidence. In only rare circumstances does an appeal court hear new testimony or receive new documents for consideration.
Consequently, appeals are won by written arguments referring to the written record of what transpired during the trial or hearing. Written appeals often require intense legal research, sound "legal reasoning," and clarity in presentation.
The Maryland appeal attorneys at Schifanelli Law, LLP have successfully appealed adverse decisions from the trial and administrative courts. We have appealed and won cases that involve termination of employment of State and Federal employees, procedural errors by judges in the civil and criminal courts, and administrative agency decisions.
Appeals from Maryland District and Circuit Courts
If you lose your civil or criminal matter in the Maryland District Court, the Circuit Court will likely have jurisdiction on appeal. Appeals may be "de novo" - meaning that parties and witnesses can be sworn in again to provide new testimony in front of a Circuit Court judge; or it can be on the record from the court below.
A judgment not in your favor from a State Circuit Court can be appealed to the Maryland Court of Special Appeals. Arguments in these kinds of appeals can only reference the record of proceedings from the Circuit Court; that is, the testimony of witnesses, exhibits entered into evidence. These appeals contemplate such things as misapplication of procedural laws, errors by the judge in interpreting substantive law, or an "abuse" by the judge in the exercise of his or her discretion.
In Maryland, "Admin appeals" include appeals from the decisions of State (or county) Administrative Agencies like the Motor Vehicle Administration, the Department of Labor Licensing and Regulation, Natural Resources, etc. Federal admin agencies include, for example, the Department of Veterans Affairs. Taking an appeal from a decision rendered by one of these agencies can include first appealing to another "higher" office within the agency, or taking the matter directly to a State court - normally one of the Circuit Courts. Before entering the State courts, however, one must "satisfy all administrative remedies" first.
Appeals from some USCIS administrative decisions can first be challenged in the Office of Administrative Appeals. Appeals taken from the decisions of Immigration Judges during removal proceedings can be appealed to the Board of Immigration Appeals, and sometimes directly to a U.S. Federal District Court.