I would advise that you hire an attorney for the appeal. In small claims court appeals, an attorney can appear on behalf of a party. At the appeal, a new judge hears all the evidence again and makes a decision. That judge doesn’t know what happened in the first trial, so this new judge looks at everything as if the case was being decided for the first time.
Again, you can have an attorney represent you at the appeal, and it is possible that the judge may award you $150 in attorney fees and/or up to $150 for your actual loss of earnings, expenses of transportation and lodging actually incurred in connection with the appeal. Also, if you or your attorney (if you have one) can prove that the appeal was filed in bad faith, it is possible that the judge may award $1000 in attorney’s fees or in actual losses that you incurred due to the appeal