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Appeals: An Overview


The burden of proof lies with any aggrieved party seeking an appeal. Any error alleged to have been made by a trial court must to be shown to have been considerable; that is, errors which were likely to make a significant impact on the result at trial.

If there were no harmless errors, two grounds exist for an appeal--the lower court made a serious error of law or the weight of the evidence fails to support the verdict.

An error is one which affects the defendant's substantial rights even though this mistake was not brought to the judge's attention over the course of the trial. On the other hand, proving an alleged insufficient weight of evidence can be much more difficult.

An appellate court can review transcriptions of the trial court proceeding, but usually does not hear the actual testimony given or sees the presentation of evidence. Because of this, appellate courts heavily rely on the lower court's decision. Thus, an appeal based on an alleged lack of sufficient evidence regarding the verdict must be able to demonstrate a very serious mistake was made to be successful.

If you received a verdict you feel is patently unfair in some way, speak with Mathur Law Offices, P.C. for critical legal counsel.