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What is an appeal?


A: An appeal is a request to a higher court to review and re-evaluate a decision made by a lower court. Appeals are complex, and are most often decided on the legal issues, as opposed to factual issues. For example, in a jury trial, facts are elicited from witnesses, medical records and evidence. The jury must decide whether the injured victim's version of the events, more likely than not, supports a finding in his favor. If the scales of justice tip even slightly in plaintiff's favor, then they are entitled to be compensated for their injuries. In an appeal, the higher court looks to see whether the legal instructions given to the jury were appropriate, and whether certain evidence was properly admitted or exluded during the trial. If an error of law was made, the court must then decide whether it was a harmless error, or one that had irreversible consequences. If there was a legal error, there is a good chance the court will throw out the lower court decision, and order a new trial. There are other options as well, but we need more time and space to cover them all. In general, if you become a client of my firm, our retainer agreement does not include any appeal. It only relates to your case up to and through the trial and any post-trial motions relating to the trial. If there is to be an appeal, further discussion about your legal options will need to occur as well as any potential legal fees that you might incur if you proceed forward.