appellate law firms coloradoAppellate Law Attorneys in Colorado

When you lose a case at the trial level, whether it is a civil lawsuit or a criminal case, finding a lawyer to handle your federal or state appeal can be challenging and time-consuming. At Whitcomb, Selinsky, PC, we have years of experience representing clients in state appeals courts and federal appeals courts. Our clients vary widely, from individuals who have been convicted of crimes to businesses that need assistance with the civil appeals process.

In some cases, you should begin working with an appellate lawyer even at the initial trial level to ensure that all potential appeals issues are properly raised. Depending upon the areas of the law in which your case falls, and the possible avenues for appeal, some of those issues may need to be raised at the trial court level, or else you can lose the ability to appeal later on. If you need assistance with your case, one of the dedicated Colorado appellate law attorneys at Whitcomb, Selinsky, PC can get started on your case today. Do not hesitate to reach out to our firm for more information.

Types of Appellate Law Cases We Handle in Colorado

At Whitcomb, Selinsky, PC, we handle many different kinds of appellate law cases, including but not limited to:

  • Criminal appeals;
  • Constitutional law issues;
  • Employment law appeals;
  • Trademark and other intellectual property issues;
  • Trade secrets appellate litigation;
  • and Disability benefits appeals.

Our firm regularly assists clients with a wide variety of criminal and civil appeals, at both the state and federal level.

What is Appellate Law?

You may know that appellate law is an area that concerns appealing a court case that has already been decided, but understanding appellate law can be complicated. Indeed, you might be asking yourself, “What exactly is appellate law?” Given that the terms ‘appellate law’ and ‘appellate litigation’ are used across so many fields of law, it is sometimes confusing to know what lawyers mean when they talk about appellate law and appeals.

Appellate law involves appealing the decision of a lower court to a higher court for review. Sometimes the lower court is a trial court, and sometimes it is an administrative government agency. In sum, appellate law is a particular type of practice in which an attorney appeals the lower court’s ruling. Depending upon the type of case, the appeals court may hear the case entirely anew, or the appeals court may be allowed to hear only the evidence initially presented to the lower court.

In addition, depending upon the type of appeal, the appeals court may be able to make a decision based on the facts of the case, or it may be limited to deciding whether the lower court abused its discretion or made a very serious error in reaching its conclusion. In many types of court appeals, the appeals court will send a case back to the lower court with its instructions. After an appeal based on an administrative decision, such as a disability benefits appeal, the appeals process simply may end.

Various Levels of the Appeals Process

It is also important to understand that there are various levels of appeal. The court in which an appellate law attorney argues your appeal will depend on a number of different factors that you should discuss with your lawyer. Even when you lose a case on appeal, it may be possible to appeal to an even higher court with your appellate attorney’s assistance.

For example, in Colorado, a federal court case will be heard initially in a federal district court. If a person or entity loses that case at the district court level, that party may be able to appeal to a circuit court. The United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit hears federal appeals cases arising out of Colorado. If a party loses an appeal in the Tenth Circuit, they may be able to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. State courts also have specific routes for appeal, but depending upon the issue in the state court system, it may be possible to have the case heard by the Tenth Circuit and ultimately by the U.S. Supreme Court even if the case began as a state law case as opposed to a federal law case.

If you have questions, an experienced appellate law attorney in Colorado can speak with you today about your options.

What Will an Appellate Lawyer do for You?

Appellate lawyers who represent clients at the appeal level assist clients in many different ways. For example, your appellate law attorney in Colorado will:

  • Provide appellate guidance at the trial court level to preserve rights to appeal;
  • Review trial records in detail;
  • Research and analyze existing case law, taking into account pending appeals on similar legal matters;
  • Frame the issues for your appeal;
  • Draft appellate documents and briefs for your case;
  • Advocate for clients in appellate courtrooms and before appellate judges; and Appeal to a higher court if necessary.

Standards of Review Upon Appeal in a Colorado Case

As we explained, different types of appellate law cases have different standards of review. The appropriate standard of review is governed by federal law. In general, lower court rulings are reviewed based on one of the following three standards of review: De novo review: This is the standard of review in which a court only reviews a lower court’s decision based on questions of law. With a de novo review, the appeals court will look at the case anew from the same position that the district court did.

  • De novo review is usually appropriate when a question of law was the primary issue in the lower court’s case. For example, questions of standing and ripeness are reviewed de novo, as are questions about interpretation—of a statute or a contract, for example. A question about the constitutionality of a particular law is also reviewed de novo.
  • Clear error review: The appellate court will review a lower court’s ruling for clear error—or will determine whether the lower court’s ruling was clearly erroneous—when the primary issue was a question of fact. When an appeals court reviews for clear error, it does not look at the case anew as with a de novo review. Instead, the appellate court will be deferential to the lower court and will only overturn the ruling if it finds that there was clear error. Clear error is difficult to find.
  • Abuse of discretion review: An appellate court will review a lower court’s ruling for abuse of discretion when the primary issue is one concerning the lower court’s discretion. What does this mean? In short, if there is a possibility that the lower court exercised its discretion to reach a conclusion that is not supported by the law or the facts of the case, then the appellate court may review for abuse of discretion. This kind of review may be appropriate in cases, for example, in which the appellant argues that the district court misapplied the law, or applied the wrong law to the legal issue at stake.

How Much Time do You Have to File an Appeal in Colorado?

If you need to file an appeal, one of the most important questions you should be asking is how much time you have to file that appeal before the clock runs out. The answer to this question can vary significantly depending upon the type of case you have and the court in which you are filing your appeal.

Why Choose Our Firm for Your Appellate Law Needs?

Whitcomb, Selinsky, PC is a firm that focuses on appellate level advocacy, and we have built a reputation for winning hard-fought appeals. Unlike the drama and flair of courtroom trials, which of course we also enjoy and perform well, appellate work is detail-oriented and arduous. We pride ourselves on persuasive legal writing that is succinct and on point.

We maintain top-notch research capabilities while promoting efficiency to save you time and money. Understanding that the odds of winning an appeal from a trial verdict or dispositive motion are long in the best situations, the appellate team at Whitcomb, Selinsky, PC evaluates cases on their merits in advance. This approach can help our client firms or individual appellants save time and money. If your case does warrant appeal, then skilled legal writing will make the difference between winning and losing.

Our lawyers have written thousands of trial- and appellate-level briefs with great success. We can either take over your case at the level of appeal or directly perform the valuable task of scheduling and briefing your appeal. Our lawyers are knowledgeable in administrative, government procurement, constitutional, child-advocacy, employment, criminal, trademark, trade secrets, and fiduciary law. However, because appellate level advocacy frequently turns on nuanced issues of law, rather than being fact-specific or tied to a few particular areas of the law, Whitcomb, Selinsky, PC is willing to discuss any appellate issue. Our attorneys are currently admitted in several state and federal venues and can quickly gain admission into almost any federal jurisdiction.

Contact an Appellate Lawyer in Colorado

Whitcomb, Selinsky, PC is committed to offering value to our clients. We charge almost strictly by the hour. We will give you realistic estimates at the onset of your case about the number of hours required for your case and will strive to impress you by finishing ahead of time and under budget. Whitcomb, Selinsky, PC has gained clients in many different practice areas. We aim for much more than customer satisfaction. We want you to be wowed by our performance. Give us a call today. Contact an appellate lawyer in Colorado online, or please call our firm at 866-476-4558.
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