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Supreme Court Appeal questions- Would lawyer pay back money to client if when appeal a case is not accept into Supreme Court?

Columbus, OH |

I heard that Supreme Court does not accept all cases. I don't know why. But I am feeling relunctant to hire a lawyer and then later told me the case has not been accepted and take my money.

What lawyers think?

Answer with confident please.

Attorney Answers 8

Posted

Attorneys are not allowed to place contingent fees on criminal law cases. It is unethical and even if it wasn't-you would not be able to find someone that would do it.

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10 comments

Asker

Posted

If it was not *you*, me? Not quiet understand.

Asker

Posted

You mean if a lawyer KNOWS it would not accpeted, he would not take the case. So, it takes it, definitely, because he knows for SURE Supreme Court will accept it?

Michael Lawrence Doyle

Michael Lawrence Doyle

Posted

No- i meant that the attorney will likely put in 10-30 hours (depending on the type of case) of reviewing the case, drafting the brief, reading the file, doing research, investigation etc. The fee is really for that, not for the oral argument.

Asker

Posted

That is something else you just replied. I am simply focus on Accept or Deny. Brief or Memorandum isn't it something a lawyer done after the case been accpeted firt? Don't you supposed to send first an Notice for Appeal, and then wait for the court to OK it or accept it...and then if after accept the appeal, then you look further for the court brief, court date etc...? My case is about Domestic Abuse Restrained Order, where I have been asked to stay away from my 4 children for 5 years for NO GOOD CAUSES.

Michael Lawrence Doyle

Michael Lawrence Doyle

Posted

I am uncertain regarding procedure in Ohio, but in most states that I have practiced in they decide whether to accept or deny based upon the brief and memorandum.

Asker

Posted

Oh, therefore, you mean it's up to "Ho good the person (lawyer) is good at writing the brief, right? So, can you tell me, do I have to pay a lawyer first before writing the brief? What is after writing the brief and court not accept the case, what should I do with the attorney if I already paid him?

Michael Lawrence Doyle

Michael Lawrence Doyle

Posted

I don't know any attorneys that would write a brief before they are paid. In regards to your second question-If you have already paid him, he may have already started the work.

Andrew A Esposito

Andrew A Esposito

Posted

Attorney Doyle's answer is 100% accurate. To clarify, the confusion seems to be between the Notice of Appeal and the Memorandum in Support of Jurisdiction. The court does not grant or deny jurisdiction based on the Notice of Appeal; however, the notice of appeal is the first step and necessary if you have any chance of success. The second step is to file the memorandum of jurisdiction (the brief). It is based on this brief, opposing counsel's brief in opposition, and the courts own legal research that a decision to grant jurisdiction will be made. It is against the Ohio Rules of Professional Conduct for an attorney to take a contigent fee in a criminal case. Furthermore, no attorney would ever take this type of case on contigency. Jurisdiction is discretionary and the amount of time that goes into writing the brief is substantial. Unless you have a very good history with an attorney, you will likely have provide a retainer before an attorney begins drafting the brief.

Asker

Posted

How is Contingent fee and Retainer different in term of lawyer and clients?

Michael Lawrence Doyle

Michael Lawrence Doyle

Posted

A contingent fee is a fee that is dependent upon a certain result. Example-In personal injury cases an attorney receives 1/3 of the settlement. If client receives zero then the attorney receives zero. A retainer is an up front payment. Typically, other attorneys are paid hourly. They will return any portion of the retainer that was not used. Example-attorney charges $250 per hour. He takes a retainer of $3,000. He spends 10 hours. He then returns $500.

Posted

The work involved in petitioning a reviewing court to grant a discretionary appeal is enormous and very difficult. No lawyer would agree to undertake such a project on a contingent fee, and to do so in a criminal case would be unethical and illegal.

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Posted

How is Contingent fee and Retainer different in term of lawyer and clients?

Posted

You are correct, in fact the Supreme Court accepts very few cases. The work involved in this is huge. It would be like a doctor having to return the fee if the patient died. And, as my colleagues have answered, a lawyer may not accept a contingent fee on a criminal case. We get paid the same, conviction or not. Probably a good rule.

We do not have a client/attorney relationship until you make an appointment, we discuss your case face to face, I accept a retainer, and we explictly agree to enter into representation.

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2 comments

Asker

Posted

The Supreme Court doesn't have to actually do any work does it? They claim it's their right to not have to decide cases. They can choose 1 case or choose to not choose any cases. The system is flawed. Every case should be a chosen one.

Barry Franklin Poulson

Barry Franklin Poulson

Posted

The Supreme Court could not possibly consider every case. Your reasoning is flawed.

Posted

Sounds like you are asking a lawyer to charge a contingency fee on a criminal case, which would be an ethical violation.

If a case is so important to you that you want an attorney to work on a Supreme Court appeal, which could take 20 hours or 100 hours over the next 6-18 months, then it should be important enough for you to invest money into the work and hopefully obtain the results you want, but it is neither possible nor ethically permitted to guarantee an outcome.

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6 comments

Asker

Posted

Comon! Why 20 hours +? I do not think a lawyer should even spend 2 hours to write a brief which is the only paper that matter in urging and convincing the Supreme Court to ACCEPT the case. ACCEPTING the case by writing a simple brief. State of Ohio v Mayryann, a Pro Se..Appealed and Accepted to Supreme Court Ohio this month, a case relating DUI was on the front website page in the Supreme court. Though it was denied, but it was ACCEPTED, and the CLIENT WAS PRO SE. http://www.supremecourt.ohio.gov/Clerk/ecms/resultsbycasenumber.asp?type=3&year=2012&number=0484&myPage=searchbycasenumber%2Easp If a Pro Se could make it to Supreme Court, why not a LAWYER confidently told me IT WILL BE ACCEPTED IF I TAKE THE CASE? That's all I want from a lawyer. If a Pro Se could have his or her case appeal accept in the Supreme Court, why not you when you are a laywer and yout are not sure?? I don't get it. A DUI case is not more important then a case involving a Father who cannot see his Children because of a court false Domestic Abuse. Explain me lawyers, because I am looing nothing but confident and positive answers. Not doubt, Not I am not sure, ect... If that Pro Se case could accept to Supreme Court, therefore, my case should be accepted, esecially with a lawyer who claims to know the rules. This case only last 2 or 3 days in the Supreme Court from Appeal, Accept and denied. Why can't a lawyer with a greater MORE IMPORTANT case?

Donald Michael Gallick

Donald Michael Gallick

Posted

If you believe that it is possible to properly research, draft a brief, and litigate a case in the Ohio Supreme Court in two hours or less, you have every right to file your own appeal. Personally, I would be ashamed if I spent a mere two hours on any type of appeal. These cases decide extremely important issues in people's lives, and also shape the law that affects citizens throughout the state. Every appeal I have handled required much more attention than two hours of work, but if you believe I don't know what I'm talking about, you are entitled to disagree with me.

Donald Michael Gallick

Donald Michael Gallick

Posted

Also, in the OSC case you cited, the Supreme Court has not yet accepted the case, you are mistaken; however, it appears the the county prosecutor has failed to file a brief in opposition to the motion to stay sentencing. It is rare that a prosecutor fails to comply with a Supreme Court's direction to file a brief in opposition.

Scott Allen Scholl

Scott Allen Scholl

Posted

One difficulty appears that you do not fully under the appellate system. With some exceptions, whether or not to accept is a case is within the sole discretion of the Supreme Court. The Court has limited resources, and cannot hear every case that every litigant wants heard and so it must chose what cases it is willing to hear. When deciding whether or not to review a case, the question is not whether a domestic relations case is more important that a DUI case. Instead, it is usually based on whether the case presents an issue that needs further development or clarification of the law. An attorney could spend well over 20 hours, and incur out of pocket expenses, preparing the appeal believing that the case involves significant issues only to have the Court determine that other cases have been filed which it would rather spend its limited resources on. Also, you do not get to just write a short brief to see if the Court will accept the case. You have to do ALL of the work or the Court likely won't hear it because you have not developed your case. Even if it did hear it, you just shot yourself in the foot because you only gave the Court a little bit of your case to see if they would take it instead of presenting your argument fully.

Asker

Posted

A brief of over 13 pages written to the Appeal court can probably be sent to Supreme Court. Based on the information I read on the State of Ohio Supreme Court, it is appeared to me that both Appeal and Supreme Court Memorandum and Brief are the same requirements. If someone already wrote and developped the full case into the appeal case, perhaps he can still use the same brief as Memorandum to send to the Supreme Court. Correct? Or why not?

Asker

Posted

There are no guarantees that the Supreme Court will uphold the guarantees of the U.S. Constitution, though it's their duty to uphold them. The USA uses Talmudic law, instead of the U.S. Constitution, which is why Americans are victimized by the legal system. It's designed to extort money.

Posted

Depending on the nature of your case, you might be able to find an appellate lawyer who is willing to represent you pro bono (for free), in filing your petition for review to the Supreme Court. There are also law schools that have student clinics that might be willing and able to help (again, for free). But it will depend on whether you've got a strong case for appeal.

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Posted

I know what kind of laywers you takling about. You probably talking about *Free Legal Service*. These groups of lawyers just using poor people to make money on. How come a service represent one side. They said they do not represent "Defendant".

Jason Paul Steed

Jason Paul Steed

Posted

"Pro bono" means the lawyer doesn't make any money. Some appellate lawyers are willing to take cases pro bono because they want to get more experience arguing before the Supreme Court. It's a win-win relationship: you get a free lawyer, and the lawyer gets Supreme Court experience. But it's only worth it to the lawyer if you have a good case for appeal. Also, there are deadlines to consider. You need to find out whether it's too late to appeal your case in the first place. If it's too late, then there's nothing any lawyer can do for you.

Asker

Posted

My kind of cases which involve Domestic Abuse, Parenting Rights, usually they would tell me they cannot do it pro bono. By the way, some lawyers here it is illigal for them to do Congtingency in Supreme Court cases. Ain't contingent and Pro Bono the same?

Jason Paul Steed

Jason Paul Steed

Posted

No, "contingency" means the lawyer gets paid -- but only if you win. "Pro bono" means the lawyer works for free, no matter what. Representing you in a criminal case on a contingency basis is usually an ethics violation (I'm not sure if that's true in every state, but probably). Representing you pro bono is perfectly fine -- but you have to find a lawyer willing to do so. Is you case in state or federal court? It sounds like it's probably in state court -- in which case it will probably be harder to find someone willing to represent you pro bono.

Asker

Posted

What is a Federal Court? Isn't Supreme Court in a state is the federal court? Or, is it out of the State, like take it to Washington DC?

Jason Paul Steed

Jason Paul Steed

Posted

There are two separate court systems -- state and federal. The Ohio Supreme Court is in the state system (under the Ohio state government). The U.S. Supreme Court is in the federal system (under the U.S. federal government). I'm guessing your case is in state court, and you would be appealing to the Ohio Supreme Court. You should look into whether there are any lawyers or organizations in Ohio that are willing to take cases for possible appeal, on a pro bono basis. Check with Ohio law schools -- that's a good place to start. They might have student clinics that are willing to help.

Asker

Posted

No, there isn't any. They all defending the petitioner, or they will refer me back to the Free Legal Aid. I tried many and once I told them I am the defendant, then they said they cannot help me.

Posted

The Supreme Court of Ohio is intended to be the highest court of review and, accordingly, only accepts appeals of important questions, unusual circumstances, and issues for which there is a split of opinion (i.e., lower Ohio appeals courts have reached different conclusions on the same question). Criminal cases in which the death penalty is imposed automatically get appealed to the Supreme Court and certain administrative law cases also can be appealed directly to the Supreme Court. Otherwise, it is assumed that the parties received an appropriate review of their case at the District Court of Appeals level. That said, getting a case before the Supreme Court on discretionary review is a difficult task. The case has to be briefed in detail, including a brief with respect to why the court should accept jurisdiction in the first place. I don't interpret your question as asking about a contingency fee (which is impermissible in a criminal action) but I think you are in a situation where your attorney has asked for the appeals fee up front and you want it back if the case isn't accepted. Your attorney will have to work to get your case to be heard by the Ohio Supreme Court. If the court declines to accept review (which they do all the time), then the attorney should charge you for the work he/she has performed up until that point and refund the balance of any retainer that you paid. However, the attorney is entitled to be paid for the work he/she did in presenting your case to the Supreme Court. That it wasn't accepted for review does not reflect on the effort or work product of your attorney and does not mean that he/she is a bad attorney. It just means that the Supreme Court did not view your case as important enough in the overall scheme of criminal law to review yet again.

This response contemplates only the laws of Ohio and is not intended to apply to other jurisdictions. None of the information in this response should be used or relied upon as legal advice or legal opinion about specific matters, facts, situations or issues. Viewing it does not establish an attorney-client relationship between you and Sherrille D. Akin, the law firm of Isaac, Brant, Ledman & Teetor LLP, or any of its individual attorneys

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Posted

It's seems pretty clear, by any interpretation, that the man wants his money back if the Supreme Court fails to uphold the Constitution which it often does.

Posted

I am not licensed in Ohio, so this should only be taken as general information. However, I do some appeals work. I get paid to PETITION the Supreme Court and then I get paid again to argue the case itself.

But if you don't petition, the Court definitely won't take the case.

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Posted

You say the client gives you money to petition and the client again gives you money to argue the case. Then, the Supreme Court should be honorable and take the case, instead of wasting the client's time and money and treat them as an ignorant, powerless slave.

Posted

No

J Charles Ferrari Eng & Nishimura 213.622.2255 The statement above is general in nature and does not constitute legal advice, as not all the facts are known. You should retain an attorney to review all the facts specific to your case in order to receive advise specific to your case. The statement above does not create an attorney/client relationship. Answers on Avvo can only be general ones, as specific answers would require knowledge of all the facts. As such, they may or may not apply to the question.

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Asker

Posted

That was the most honest answer.

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