Changing Attorneys On Appeal

An Appellate Attorney Provides Insight to the Dilemma of Whether To Stay With Trial Counsel Or Retain New Counsel On Appeal

When appealing a case, clients are typically faced with the preliminary question of whether to retain new appellate counsel or instead continue with their original trial attorney. It is understandable for clients to want to stay with the trial counsel they have developed a relationship with over the course of representation and who knows the fundamentals of their case and personal story.

One must also keep in mind, however, that what goes into arguing at the trial court level does not always transfer exactly to appellate courts. For example, from a purely procedural standpoint, the upper courts are governed by the North Carolina Rules of Appellate Procedure. In contrast, trial courts, are governed by North Carolina’s General Rules of Practice, Rules of Civil Procedure, and Rules of Criminal Procedure. Not all issues argued at trial court are “preserved” for review. Also, the standard of review on appeal may make a worthwhile trial issue into a practical dead end on appeal.

Even an experienced trial attorney, who has the procedural rules memorized for the lower courts and has litigated there with ease, may encounter unexpected issues when arguing in an appellate setting without the familiarity an attorney who practices solely in appellate law.

Retaining seasoned appellate counsel to move forward with your case helps to ensure that each part of your appeal occurs smoothly. Mark L. Hayes has worked on nearly two hundred appellate cases at all levels and also has experience in providing consultation services to trial attorneys.

For more information about what you should look for when obtaining appellate counsel, the Law Office of Mark L. Hayes invites you to consider two questions, the answers of which can be found in the links below:

(1) How do I obtain a meaningful cost estimate for appellate services?

(2) What should I ask an appellate attorney in determining their qualifications?

Posted on: 5 Aug, 2020