The primary piece of information that any client wishing to appeal a court’s decision should know is that there are very tight and unforgiving deadlines for noting and perfecting appeals. If these deadlines are missed by even a day, the result is generally fatal to the case. In addition, besides the strict deadlines, there are very specific rules governing what must be filed, the content that must be included and the format—down to the color of the cover of the briefs! These rules must be strictly adhered to; if they are not, the result may be fatal to the client’s appeal.
If you are planning to appeal your case, you should consult our Links page and review the Rules governing the Court of Appeals of Virginia as well as the Supreme Court of Virginia. However, keep in mind, this is not the time to try to take a “crash course” on how to be a lawyer, and especially not the time to try to learn how to be an effective appellate advocate.
We have the experience to help you with your case! Please do not hesitate to contact us at (703) 734-5000. Let one of our experienced attorneys assist you with filing and arguing your case on appeal.
Leiser, Leiser & Hennessy, PLLC has handled appeals of various matters, ranging from decisions of administrative agencies such as the Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) to appeals of Circuit Court judges to both the Court of Appeals and to the Virginia Supreme Court. In addition, Leiser, Leiser & Hennessy, PLLC has appealed decisions of the Court of Appeals to the Virginia Supreme Court.
On behalf of our clients, we have had good success in getting the decisions of trial judges overturned on appeal. In the course of a divorce case in which she represented the wife, Karen Leiser, the firm’s managing partner, successfully appealed the ruling of a Fairfax County Circuit Court Judge who misclassified the husband’s disability payments as non-retirement funds and therefore exempt from equitable distribution. The result of the trial court’s decision was catastrophic to the wife who would receive nothing from the husband’s substantial retirement benefits.
On appeal, the Court of Appeals, agreeing with Ms. Leiser, reversed the trial court’s decision and reclassified the disability benefits as retirement benefits, thereby entitling Ms. Leiser’s client to substantial monthly payments for the rest of her life. This was a significant victory not only for our client but also for others similarly situated who can now cite to this case as precedent to protect their interest in their spouse’s disability payments upon divorce.
We also handled an appeal in a personal injury case in which our client slipped and fell into a large hole outside of a business establishment, suffering serious injuries. The Supreme Court of Virginia agreed with our position that the trial judge erroneously allowed certain evidence to be introduced against our client at trial. The Supreme Court awarded him a new trial and, as a consequence of our victory, he received a substantial settlement from the company we sued that had not properly warned pedestrians of the dangerous hole.
Currently, the Supreme Court of Virginia has accepted two of our cases and will be ruling later this year as to whether the trial court entered orders that were inconsistent with the law, as we have advocated.
Besides prosecuting appeals on behalf of our clients, we have successfully defended against such appeals when we have represented the prevailing party at trial and the adverse party has filed an appeal. We have handled appeals at both the state and federal levels and have the experience and knowledge to help our clients pursue or defend against appeals in any state or federal court in Virginia.
Please do not hesitate to contact us at (703) 734-5000 to make an appointment to speak with one of our lawyers who can assist you with your legal matter.