Skip to main content

I was a plaintiff of a meritorious personal injury case. Several attorneys offered to take my case on contingency basis and

Sacramento, CA |

I chose one them. The word “incompetent” is not going to even come close to describe how my attorney mishandled my case against an experienced attorney for the defendant insurance company. My case was lost in the jury trial. I plan to retain an attorney to file an appeal. Will my case be appealed on issues of law or issues of facts or both?

I read that the plaintiffs’ appeals of some of the dismissed personal injury are basically new trials where the appellate court reviews the cases de novo hearing the case allover again. So I am not sure if this would apply to my case.

Will I be able to find a contingent-fee based attorney to appeal my case if my case has merits? And am I supposed to search for an appellate attorney or a new personal injury attorney?


+ Read More

Attorney answers 5


First, my sincere regret that you encountered this unfortunate situation. My suggestion is that you contact an attorney who specializes in appellate procedures and take your documentation with you.. There may be the possibility of what is called “reversible error”. I have personally dealt with other California claims such as this one. Having proper representation can protect your cause of action. Time is of the essence. Best of luck to you.

View my website & give me a call for a FREE consultation if you are a California resident 877-427-2752 or you can email me at I am licensed in California only and my answers on Avvo assume California law. Answers provided by me are for general information only. They are not legal advice. Answers must not be relied upon. Legal advice must be based on the interplay between specific exact facts and the law. This forum does not allow for the discussion of that interplay. My answer to any specific question would likely be different if that interplay were explored during an attorney-client relationship. I provide legal advice during the course of an attorney-client relationship only. The exchange of information through this forum does not establish such a relationship. That relationship is established only by personal and direct consultation with me followed by the execution of a written attorney-client agreement signed by each of us. The communications on this website are not privileged or confidential and I assume no duty to anyone by my participation on Avvo or because I have answered or commented on a question. All legal proceedings involve deadlines and time limiting statutes. So that legal rights are not lost for failure to timely take appropriate action and because I do not provide legal advice in answer to any question, if you are an interested party you should promptly and personally consult with an attorney for legal advice. Also, see Avvo's terms and conditions of use, specifically item 9, incorporated by this reference


Appeals review errors of law, and will not re decide your case on the facts DE NOVO. They will not second guess the jury on factual conclusions unless there is no evidence at all upon ewhich to base the decision. Success on appeal is not common, but depends upon the specifics of your case. You need to have someone who really knows what they are doing on appeals to look at this. You can try to find one on contingency, but Id be surprised. You need to move quickly and talk to your atty also. There may be motions that should be filed immediately and before appeal. Perhaps your atty will find an appellate atty who will work with him and divide his fee.


Errors of law will be reviewed. Most lawyers who do appeals don't work on a contingency fee basis. You may want to consider having a local legal malpractice lawyer review the file.

Christine C McCall

Christine C McCall


I've never seen a professional malpractice result predicated on an unfavorable jury verdict, but if there is ANY cite for such proposition, I sure could use it -- any jurisdiction. Thx.


Yikes! If you lost your case at trial you only have a very limited time within which to notify the appellate court that you are taking an appeal. I suggest you speak immediately with your trial attorney and have him or her file the appropriate notice of appeal. Once you have met the appeal notice deadline, you will have some time to attempt to locate another attorney if that is what you wish to do. You may find it difficult to locate a different attorney to take on an appeal of a failed jury trial. Your attorney may have an obligation under the terms of your written retainer agreement to pursue the appeal on your behalf. Review your retainer agreement before you make any final decisions. The most important thing to do at this point is to make sure that a notice of appeal has been timely filed. Contact your attorney today.

Legal Disclaimer:

If this information has been helpful, please indicate below.

Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Lundeen strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received.

This ans. does not create an attorney/client relationship.


Appeals are made as to issues of law appearing from Court records. One issue of law is insufficient evidence. A writ in the Appellate Court might also lie for abuse of discretion by the Trial Court. Expect no "new trial" unless you win your appeal and the Appellate Court directs/allows a new trial. You will need an appellate attorney and you might or might not find one person who will act as both your appellate attorney and your lower-court attorney. You might be stuck with a legal malpractice suit at most. Good luck.

Avvo personal injury email series

Sign up to receive a 3-part series of useful information and advice about personal injury law.

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer