If you need to appeal a criminal case, you might be wondering if you should turn to a new attorney. In some cases, you should. As you may have realized, attorneys have different specialties and educational backgrounds. Some are extremely good at trials, while others are better at appeals. Appellate lawyers have different skills than someone who is taking a case to trial, which is why you might want to consider interviewing a new attorney for your appeal.
Appeals require much research and hard work. They may require the attorney to argue dense legal doctrines before a judge and to do a significant amount of legal research and writing on your behalf. Appellate attorneys do all they can to become extremely knowledgeable on your case prior to making an argument before the judge.
Generally speaking, many attorneys choose between focusing on their appellate skills versus their trial skills. If your case was tried by an excellent trial attorney but you’d like to appeal, it’s worth asking about their background in appellate law and to find out if they feel comfortable representing you in that situation.
Whatever you decide, make sure you are clear on the fact that your trial attorney won’t automatically appeal your case or take on your appeal. It’s up to you to ask your attorney, or a new attorney, to take on the case. Our site has more on appeals and why it’s important to work with an attorney who has a deep understanding of the appeals process and the work it takes to appeal a case like yours.