Should you hire an appellate attorney in addition to a competent criminal lawyer in Kitchener? In the following article we will first outline what an appellate attorney does, followed by three reasons why you should hire an appellate attorney. An appellate lawyer compiles cases from a lower court (e.g. criminal or civil court) and challenges those cases by appealing them in a higher ranking court (e.g. Court of Appeal or the Supreme Court of Canada). An appeal is a method for challenging the lower court’s decision (judge or jury), in which the defense counsel believes that errors were made that led to the final verdict. Appellate lawyers are not authorized to present new evidence, rather they are solely responsible for presenting errors made in the verdict. Next, we will present three reasons why you should hire an appellate attorney in addition to your criminal lawyer.
First, an appellate attorney will offer a brand new perspective to the case. You may have hired the best criminal defense lawyer in Kitchener but this does not guarantee that they will be invincible to blind-spots within the case. Indeed, tunnel vision is often a limiting factor in numerous cases. The criminal lawyer in Kitchener may drill certain arguments to the judge and the judge may then consider factors beyond the arguments being presented that the criminal lawyer failed to notice, which can be deadly in a trial. However, an appellate attorney will often pick-up on these missed perspectives to create a more encapsulating argument at appeal court. Second, appellate lawyers have a better understanding of what appeal judges are focusing on in reviewing the case.
Indeed, a trial criminal lawyer will know the facts of the case like the back of their hand, but this creates limitations. The appeal court only has a set amount of time to review the case itself, which means that certain details that the trial lawyer built their argument on, may simply be skimmed by the appeal court. Alternatively, the appellant attorney understands the first impression of the case that appeal judges gain and will invest their time on key factors appeal judges will notice in the case review. For instance, the appellant lawyer completely understands the standard of review protocol used by appeal judges and will capitalize on this insight when challenging the case verdict.
Third, an appellant lawyer is an expert on how to construct the case in appeal court. Essentially, the appellant attorney will present the errors from trial court in a clear and concise manner for appeal judges to ponder on. In addition, since the appeal review is time sensitive, the appellate attorney will not waste any time on weak or far-fetched arguments that will dilute their strong arguments in the appeal court.
One downside in hiring an appellate lawyer is the added cost. The defendant will now be financing two highly competent lawyers, which may create a financial drain for the defendant. If you are planning to appeal the court’s decision in a criminal or civil trial, then it is advantageous to hire an appellate attorney in addition to the criminal defense lawyer in Kitchener; but one must ensure they can feasibly afford this extra legal protection and support.