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Steps of The Appeals Process in Arkansas

In Arkansas, when a civil case is resolved in court, there is a complex appeals process that is available under certain circumstances. While an appeal doesn’t retry the case or afford you a new trial, it can address any procedural errors that may have occurred – in addition to any errors in the court’s or jury’s interpretation or application of the applicable laws. Successfully appealing the outcome of a civil case is legally challenging and best left in the capable hands of an experienced Arkansas appellate law attorney.

Your Appeal

Your appeal will be tailored to the exact circumstances involved, but the path forward involves several basic steps that don’t vary. Cases generally begin in lower courts – or trial courts – and when the need to review a final decision arises, they move on to higher courts, which are called appellate courts. When a party to a civil case is dissatisfied with the outcome in relation to procedure or the application of the law, they can take the matter up with an appeals court.

The Process

The appeals process begins with a Notice of Appeal, which is a written expression of your intention to seek an appellate review of the trial court’s ruling. This is typically filed after the case has been finalized. Generally, you have only 30 days from the final order’s filing to seek appellate review.

The Record on Appeal

From here, you’ll need to order the trial court’s record of your case, which will likely include all the following:

These are the documents and materials that provide the appellate court with the information necessary to evaluate the legalities of the case under appeal.

Each Party’s Written Arguments

After the appellate court receives the necessary records, it will set a briefing schedule for each party to submit an appellate brief that addresses the following:

The party who filed the appeal – the appellant – is tasked with identifying the trial court’s or jury’s alleged mistakes and sharing the legal bases for reversing their final rulings.

Oral Arguments

While most appeals are determined on a review of the written briefs, this isn’t always the case. If the appellate court requires more information or if the matter presents a unique legal issue, it will set the case for oral arguments. This amounts to an in-depth discussion between the involved parties’ attorneys and the deciding panel of judges.

The Decision

While trial courts are generally decided by a single judge and/or jury, Arkansas appeals are typically heard by a panel of three judges. Once each side’s documents and oral arguments – if heard – have been reviewed, the appellate court issues its decision. The options include an affirmation of the trial court’s original findings or a reversal, which can require the trial court to enter an order in favor of the appellant or to conduct a new trial.

An Experienced Arkansas Appellate Law Attorney Can Help

The reputable Arkansas appellate law attorneys at Brown Dunning Walker Fein Drusch PC have a wealth of impressive experience skillfully guiding appeals toward favorable outcomes that uphold our clients’ legal rights, and we’re here for you, too. Learn more by contacting us online or calling 501-588-4460 and scheduling an appointment today.