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Choosing An Appellate Attorney

After an attorney’s representation of a client leads to an unfavorable ruling, judgment, or verdict, the client must decide whether to select a new attorney to handle the appeal. Even if the trial attorney’s performance was exceptional, he or she may lack the skills to pursue the case at the next level.

Fortunately, while clients often have to choose a trial attorney who is “local,” appellate attorneys can serve clients throughout the state. Although this firm is located in Durham, it has handled cases from the mountains to the coast. All state appeals are handled centrally in Raleigh, where both the N.C. Court of Appeals and N.C. Supreme Court are located. Whether you were convicted in Charlotte or sued in Wilmington, the Law Offices of Mark L. Hayes can handle your appeal.

Hiring a new attorney for your appeal also gives a fresh set of eyes to the case. Sometimes the trial attorney’s familiarity with the case actually works against his ability to notice the single word, date, or checkmark that will make the difference in the outcome. Additionally, in criminal cases, the best issue may be an ineffective assistance of counsel claim – a claim which the trial attorney may be reluctant to raise.

For an example of a recent, successful claim of Ineffective Assistance of Counsel briefed by this office, see the Court of Appeal’s recent decision in IN RE Z.K.M. Each case is unique and no inferences should be drawn concerning one’s chances of winning an appeal based on the outcomes of Mr. Hayes’ past cases.