Dedicated Sevierville Appellate Attorneys Address Your Most Pressing Questions

The answers you need, when you need them

The law is tricky business; the appeals process is even more complex. The rules and regulations which govern civil and criminal appeals in Tennessee can be daunting, and not every attorney is equipped to argue cases at that level. Delius & McKenzie, PLLC in Sevierville understands that you probably have a lot of questions about your options when you lose your case. That is why we compiled this list of the questions we hear the most often from our clients.

Common questions about appeals in Tennessee

  1. Can every case be appealed?
  2. How long does the appeals process take?
  3. Should I hire lawyer if I want to appeal?
  4. What kinds of appeals are there?
  5. How is an appeal different from going to trial?
  6. That person committed a crime and got away with it! Can we go back to court?
  7. What is post-conviction relief?
  8. How many times can we go back to court?

Find out more about the appeals process in Tennessee

Delius & McKenzie, PLLC provides appellate services to client in Sevierville, Pigeon Forge, and Gatlinburg and throughout Tennessee. We willingly travel to the Nashville, Knoxville and Jackson to present your case. Please call 865.280.3686 or fill out our contact form to schedule a consultation with a dedicated Sevierville appellate lawyer today.

Can every case be appealed?

Most cases can be appealed as of right pursuant to Rule 3 of the Tennessee Rules of Appellate Procedure.  This guarantees review by our “intermediate appellate courts”—the Court of Criminal Appeals or the Court of Criminal Appeals. However, not every case should be appealed. The best cases for successful appeals are those where the record shows that the trial court made a mistake in its decision. Just because you don’t like the answer doesn’t always mean you can successfully appeal it. Our job is to give you an honest assessment of whether or not your appeal has merit, and to fight on your behalf if it does.

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How long does the appeals process take?

It depends. The short answer? It can take years – but the length of the appeal is largely determined by the resources of the courts. Once a notice of appeal is filed, the court clerk has 60 days to prepare the records. Then, each side has 30 days to present their briefs. In almost all cases, extensions of time are granted. It can easily be six months before your case is even ready to be “docketed” by the Appellate Court.  Even after oral arguments, it is not uncommon for the Appellate Court to take several months to review the case and render a written opinion.

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Should I hire lawyer if I want to appeal?

Absolutely. The appeals process is like a highly technical dance: one wrong step and you could end up falling flat. Even if you are an experienced legal professional, having an attorney with a fresh set of eyes and a record for successful appellate work is a must. You do not want to risk losing everything by not hiring a professional.

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What kinds of appeals are there?

Appeals fall mainly into two categories: civil appeals, handled by the Tennessee Court of Appeals; and criminal appeals, handled by the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals. Civil appeals can encompass anything that is not criminal in nature. Thus, personal injury, business decisions, medical malpractice – all of these would be filed in civil court.

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How is an appeal different from going to trial?

When you go to trial, you will likely face a judge and a jury. In appellate court, you face a panel of three judges. There are no witnesses, no expert testimonies and no juries. Instead, your trial transcripts are given to the panel to review, along with written arguments called briefs. In most cases, oral arguments will also be requested by the panel.

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That person committed a crime and got away with it! Can we go back to court?

No. That’s called double jeopardy, and it is illegal under the U.S. Constitution. A person cannot be tried for the same crime twice.  However, you may consider filing a civil suit if the person caused personal injury.

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What is post-conviction relief?

When you have exhausted all of your options in Tennessee state courts, you can petition for post-conviction relief. The petition would argue that your Constitutional rights had been violated during your initial trial and/or during the appeals process. We can also submit a writ of habeas corpus, which says that you are being wrongfully imprisoned. Post-conviction relief is only available for people who have been convicted on criminal charges.

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How many times can we go back to court?

It varies from case to case. There are multiple steps to the appeals process, and no set number of times an appellate court can remand your case to a lower court for review.

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