This guide is designed to answer your initial questions regarding non-criminal appeals in the State of Michigan.
I just lost a case in the trial court. Can I appeal? Should I appeal?
The trial court just ruled against you. Can you appeal? The simple answer to this question is yes, you can. Whether you should or should not file an appeal is a more difficult question. The first step in the appellate process is always to decide whether an appeal is warranted under all of the circumstances, including but not limited to whether the trial court made a mistake that can be corrected through an appeal.
Why can't I handle my own appeal?
The law does not require that you be represented by a lawyer on appeal. You have the legal right to represent yourself, but it is a complex and risky process.
Shouldn't I use my trial attorney for the appeal?
Often, feelings and emotions will have a heavy impact on the outcome in the trial court and a skilled trial attorney will know how to work well within that context. In an appeal, almost all of the evidence is reduced to writing on a page, so the emotional content is almost nonexistent - it's all about the law. Some of the most skilled and successful trial attorneys are strangers to appellate law and the processes in appellate courts; they can be magicians in the trial court but incomprehensible on paper. An experienced appellate attorney not only knows how to write a well-structured and compelling argument, but can quickly assess whether your issues were properly preserved, which standards of review will apply, how receptive the particular appellate court is likely to be toward your issues, and more. An appellate practitioner is trained to pay attention more keenly to these appellate factors in the same way a trial attorney is trained to pay attention to the jury. Appellate practice requires a love of long hours reading the record and all of the cases that may be relevant to your issue. A busy trial attorney will seldom have that kind of time to devote to a single case and often prefers the fast-paced world of the trial court.
Is there a deadline for filing my appeal?
There certainly is, and in most cases it's a relatively short one. In most Michigan cases, there is a 21-day deadline within which to file your claim of appeal or application for leave to appeal and there are strict time requirements for obtaining and submitting the trial record and your appellate brief. The Michigan rules governing final orders are notoriously complex. Your trial attorney may or may not be familiar with that area of law. Many appeals are forfeited during these early stages because the right filing was not completed within a particular time limit. Therefore, it is extremely important that you consult with an attorney who is experienced and knowledgeable with the appellate rules.
How long will it take to complete an appeal?
In Michigan, the time frame for completing an appeal in the Michigan Court of Appeals depends on many factors. Certain cases, such as child custody matters, are expedited. As a general matter, approximately ninety percent of all cases before the Court of Appeals are concluded within 18 months of the initial filing.
How much does an appeal cost?
Every case is unique, and the amount of time required to properly prepare an appeal will depend on many factors such as the complexity of the issues and the length of trial. Generally speaking, the cost of an appeal typically involves four factors: Court Fees - The appellate courts collect a fee for filing each appeal and for filing any motions filed during the appeal. Transcripts - For each full day of testimony, you should expect to pay approximately $500.00 for the court reporter to produce the transcripts. Processing of Briefs, copies, electronic filing fees, and other out-of-pocket costs - This can generally cost between $250.00 and $1,200.00, depending on the length of the trial and the number of documents that must be reproduced. Attorney Fees - The most simple appeals may cost as little as a few thousand dollars. However, depending on the complexity of the issues, the condition of the trial record, and numerous other factors, the cost will increase with the amount of time spent.
Our Rating is calculated using information the lawyer has included on
their profile in addition to the information we collect from state
bar associations and other organizations that license legal
professionals. Attorneys who claim their profiles and provide Avvo
with more information tend to have a higher rating than those who do
What determines Avvo Rating?
Experience & background
Years licensed, work experience, education
Legal community recognition
Peer endorsements, associations, awards
Legal thought leadership
Publications, speaking engagements
This lawyer was disciplined by a state licensing authority in .
Disciplinary information may not be comprehensive, or updated. We recommend that you always check a lawyer's disciplinary status with their respective state bar association before hiring them.