Fort Lauderdale Appellate Litigation
Loyal Legal Representatives Providing Insightful Legal Guidance
At Stok Kon + Braverman, our litigation lawyers have represented clients from Fort Lauderdale and beyond at many levels of the federal and state appellate court system. We are experienced in appeals relating to commercial law, business law, real estate, and family law, including visitation rights and property rights. Whether you were successful at your trial and are hoping to preserve your victory, or you were unsuccessful and are seeking a reversal, our Fort Lauderdale appellate lawyers can offer the knowledgeable guidance that you need to fight and vindicate your rights.
What’s the Difference Between Trial Court & Appellate Courts?
The Florida Rules of Appellate Procedure govern how an appeal can be initiated within the state court system. They also outline what kind of notice is needed, the types of briefs, pleadings, or statements of the case that might be appropriate, and the requirements governing motions and other documentation.
Trial court proceedings differ from appellate litigation in the perspective from which the case is viewed. At the trial level, determining disputed facts plays a key role. Appeals courts usually address and interpret the law and apply it to the facts previously found by the trial court. Appellate proceedings typically focus on the written arguments submitted by the parties that relate to legal issues. The Florida District Court of Appeal’s goal is to correct critical mistakes made by lower courts that may have wrongly infringed on a party’s rights.
Successfully Appealing a Civil Judgment in Florida
It is important to note that an appellate attorney must preserve issues for appeal at the trial level. If the stage is not laid for a later challenge, you might not be able to raise the court’s apparent mistakes later. There are a number of reasons for challenging an order or judgment on appeal, such as:
- Inappropriate Jury Instructions: This is when a judge gives the jury information before or during its deliberations that states the law in an incorrect, incomplete, or misleading way. Since jurors are usually not familiar with the relevant legal principles, they rely on these instructions for the legal framework within which they make decisions. A mistake in this area can change the outcome of a case.
- Prejudicial Error: This refers to a mistake during the trial that affects the verdict or the assessment of any damages. The error must be serious enough to have demonstrably shaped the outcome of the case for the harmed party to be able to appeal.
- Lack of Substantial Evidence: If the evidence presented in the trial court was not enough to support the verdict, then a party and an appellate attorney can appeal on the ground that there was a lack of substantial evidence. However, this requires showing that there was no more than a mere scintilla of material to justify the outcome.
Depending on the nature and circumstances of the appeal, the court can use different standards of review. For example, the de novo standard refers to a court hearing a case as though for the first time. This is when an appellate court decides the issues without relying on the findings of fact made by the lower court, although it might use the trial record to analyze the evidence presented.
In other circumstances, the more deferential abuse of discretion standard requires the appeals court to assess whether the initial decision was arbitrary, unreasonable, or unsupported by the facts. If two reasonable minds could differ as to the propriety of an action, it is not considered unreasonable.
Since appellate litigation involves the legal assessment of your case in the context of Florida legal precedents and encompasses research and analytical skills that transcend standard trial work, you need a team of attorneys with the research, writing, and oral argument skills that will stand up to the scrutiny of a higher court. If we handle your case at trial, we will begin laying the groundwork for a successful appeal by connecting with the jury, communicating with the judge, and preparing detailed records for review by the appellate court.
For more than 30 years, the seasoned appellate attorneys at Stok Kon + Braverman have been dedicated to representing individuals and businesses in matters that extend beyond trial courts. We are respected members of the legal community, and we take pride in our disciplined work ethic. We offer comprehensive legal representation, and you can count on our reputable appellate litigation team to work diligently on your behalf and vigorously assert your rights during the appeals process.