Seymour Appellate Attorneys Handling Criminal and Civil Appeals

Making persuasive arguments in the higher Tennessee courts

Appeal Attorney Bryan E DeliusEvery lawyer aims to negotiate a fair settlement before trial or win each client’s case at the trial level. Sometimes, though, the trial judge or jury made a decision that requires an appeal. They may fail to properly consider all the relevant evidence. The judge’s instructions to the jury may have been improper or unclear. Prejudicial evidence may have been included. In civil cases, the losing side may file an appeal, which means the winning lawyer needs to contest the appeal.

The Seymour appellate lawyers at Delius & McKenzie, PLLC have been helping clients get justice in Tennessee for more than 20 years. We understand why appeals are taken, how they are processed, and which courts hear the appeals. If the result at the lower court level was not justified, then we file appeals on our client’s behalf. We request oral arguments in addition to filing written briefs because our lawyers have a reputation for making compelling arguments in person.

Appeals of criminal convictions in Tennessee

Appeals of criminal cases are heard first by the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals. This court has 12 judges but appeals are normally heard by just three of them in Jackson, Knoxville, or Nashville. The judges hear appeals of felonies, misdemeanors, and post-conviction petitions. Some of the issues raised on appeal include whether a defendant’s Constitutional rights were violated. Common Constitutional rights issues include the right to be free from self-incrimination and protection against unreasonable searches and seizures. This higher court also hears false detention cases.

Our Seymour appellate attorneys file appeals to the Tennessee State Supreme and the US Supreme Court when warranted. Appeals to these courts are at the discretion of the court, which means they are not automatic. The one exception is for death penalty cases, which are automatically heard by the Tennessee Supreme Court.

Appeals to the higher courts are normally taken just by defendants, but the government does appeal lower court decisions in exceptional cases. The reason appeals are normally exclusive to defendants is because of the rule of double jeopardy. If a jury declines to convict someone, than an appeal is likely to place the decision of the jury in jeopardy.

Civil case appeals in Tennessee

Plaintiffs and defendants can also appeal civil court decisions. The party that appeals is called the “appellant,” and the other side is called the “appellee.” Appeals can contest rulings by the lower court judge. Sometimes the losing side will argue that the lower court decision did not match the evidence that was presented. In cases with a negative lower court result, our Seymour appellate lawyers file appeals on behalf of our client. Sometimes, when we win the case at the trial court level, the defendants will appeal, and we then argue that the lower court made the correct rulings and decisions.

What happens at the appellate court?

Our legal team writes briefs and presents oral arguments, when allowed, to the higher court. The client normally does not appear in person. The higher court reviews the lower court transcript of the case, a typed record of the testimony, along with the evidence that was presented. New evidence is usually not considered at the higher court/appellate court level, unless it was not readily discoverable at the trial level.

The appellate court generally rules in one of the following three ways in both criminal and civil appeals:

  • It affirms the decision of the lower court.
  • It reverses the decision of the lower court.
  • It sends the case back to the lower court for further review or for a new trial.

The losing side may then request that the Tennessee Supreme Court hear a second appeal. In criminal cases, our lawyers may be able to appeal directly to a federal court. Appeals from the Tennessee Court or a federal court can ultimately make it to the US Supreme Court, which only hears a small number of cases each year.

The appellate process can take months or years, depending on the circumstances. An experienced attorney at our firm is prepared to be by your side throughout the process.

Make the call to a Seymour appellate lawyer now

The Seymour appellate lawyers at Delius & McKenzie, PLLC have broad experience in both criminal and civil appeals. We file and defend appeals for our clients. We also, in the right case, may take an appeal of a case that was handled by another lawyer. If an injustice has occurred or you have questions about the appellate process, please call us at 865-428-8780 or complete our convenient contact form. We represent clients in Seymour and throughout Tennessee.