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Appellate Practice

What Is a Legal Appeal?

In family law, the primary goal is typically to reach an amicable agreement, with minimal emotional impact. Particularly when children are involved, a court proceeding is not considered desirable, because it nearly always fosters hard feelings between parties, and it inevitably adds to the duration of the case. Unfortunately, there are times when the involved parties cannot reach an agreement, and the case must go to court.

A court decision is typically considered final, and the involved parties are obligated to comply. However, an unjust ruling can be challenged, though it takes a skilled attorney to navigate the complicated process successfully. This challenge is called an appeal, and the challenging party is referred to as the appellant.

The Appellate Process

It is important to understand that an appeal is not a retrial. The court will not hear new evidence, or “start over” with a case. Additionally, you cannot file an appeal simply because you do not like to ruling. An appeal is intended to correct an injustice or misinterpretation of the law by a lower court. The appellate court will review the original court proceedings to determine if an error has occurred.

Appealing a case is most likely to be successful if either the lower court made a clear mistake, or the enforcement of a statute in question has not been clearly defined by the court system. Appellate cases often change, expand, or define the interpretation of certain laws by setting a precedent, which lower courts follow. In most situations, the appeals process is very lengthy. However, in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, child custody appeals are fast-tracked to avoid prolonged disruption of the child in question.

Choose the Right Lawyer

Jack A. Rounick is a seasoned family law attorney, with a unique understanding of the local and commonwealth court systems. He actively participated in drafting and passing the Pennsylvania Divorce Code, making him uniquely qualified to understand its potential interpretations. Throughout his career, he has fought not only for his personal clients, but also for fairness in the laws and the way that they are interpreted.

If you have received a court ruling that you believe to be unjust, turn to a lawyer who truly understands what can be accomplished, and how to accomplish it. Call 484-684-6055 today and schedule an appointment to discuss your case with Jack A. Rounick.