Our attorneys bring unique depth and insight to the appellate process. Having clerked in a federal appeals court, Chris Malikschmitt brings an inside perspective to your appeal. And, having participated in both civil and criminal appeals from the New Jersey Superior Court to the Supreme Court of the United States, the attorneys of Dressel/Malikschmitt have the experience, skills and attention to detail that you need to see your matter through.
To bring a successful appeal, legal acumen is especially important. The attorneys of Dressel/Malikschmitt will work tirelessly to comb your case for the right facts, unearth the legal precedent to support them, apply their finely honed legal writing skills to get them across on paper, and hammer those points home in persuasive oral argument.
We Know New Jersey Appellate Law
Indeed, the attorneys of Dressel/Malikschmitt take particular pride in their research, writing and advocacy abilities–all necessary elements to make an appeal really shine. While most trial lawyers prepare cases to be presented before a judge and jury, appellate proceedings occur before a panel of highly-scrutinous appellate judges and within a strict set of guidelines. Success in any appeal hinges on careful navigation of the specific timing and procedural rules, exceptional logical and oratory skills, and, most importantly, the quality and persuasion of a written brief.
We Handle State and Federal Appeals
The New Jersey appellate attorneys at Dressel/Malikschmitt are here for you. The appellate courts are the last resort for a case and need to be handled precisely and skillfully. We counsel clients at all stages of the appeals process from counseling on the feasibility of an appeal, likelihood of success, and identification of the case’s strengths and weaknesses through the making of the actual appeal itself.
The partners at Dressel/Malikschmitt handle both state and federal appeals throughout New Jersey in addition to working with select matters in other state and federal jurisdictions.
FAQs About Appeals in New Jersey
If you are dissatisfied with the way your case was handled or decided, you can often ask a higher court to double check the previous judge’s work. In New Jersey, trial court cases are appealed to the Appellate Division. It may also be possible to appeal to the New Jersey Supreme Court. In the federal court system, cases are appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Certain cases decided by the New Jersey Supreme Court and the Third Circuit may be appealed to the Supreme Court of the United States, which is the highest court in the land.
Appeals exist so the legal system can correct judicial errors that have the potential to undermine the justice system and impact cases beyond your own. You should not file an appeal just because you are upset and want a do-over. However, you should not hesitate to file an appeal if what happened in your case was a miscarriage of justice, and letting the ruling stand would be an affront to public policy and the rule of law.
In New Jersey, filing an appeal is a straightforward process. You pay a fee and file a motion explaining the reason for your appeal with either the Appellate Division or the New Jersey Supreme Court. Some appeals are filed mid-case — as soon as a judicial error occurs. Others are filed once a case has been decided. Either way, there is a limited window of time during which an appeal can be filed. Most litigants work with an appellate attorney to ensure their motion is filed on time, is persuasive, and is accompanied by the appropriate supporting documents.
Before founding Dressel/Malikschmitt, Andrew Dressel was part of the University of Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court Clinic, where he prepped cases heading to the Supreme Court of the United States. Christopher Malikschmitt was a law clerk for the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Andrew and Chris bring this experience to their current practice, which is able to take appeals to the New Jersey Appellate Division, the New Jersey Supreme Court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, and the Supreme Court of the United States.
Although there is only a short window of time after a case is decided during which an appeal can be filed, the appeals courts themselves do not move quickly. It can take over a year for an appeal to be taken up, heard, and then decided. The length of time it takes for an appeal to be decided often depends on how complex the case is, whether the court has addressed similar issues in the past, and how many other cases the court has on its docket.
Filing an appeal generally costs less than litigating a case in the trial court, but it is not an insignificant expense. In addition to attorney fees, appellants can expect to pay a filing fee to the court. At Dressel/Malikschmitt, we discuss case costs up front, and provide a ballpark estimate of expenses based on our assessment of the case. We work as efficiently as possible in order to keep costs down.
Arguing before an appeals court is a very different type of lawyering than litigating before a trial court judge. While the trial court was narrowly attuned to the facts in your case, an appeals court must focus on the application of the law and the role of the court more broadly. A good appellate attorney will put your case in context and explain why the lower court’s ruling is wrong not just in your case, but as a matter of public policy. Working with an experienced appellate attorney can make or break your case.
Appellate attorneys attempt to persuade the courts that previous rulings or judgments were wrong, and should be corrected. This involves drafting briefs that put the case at hand in a broader context, and explain why a different outcome is desirable public policy. Once in court, appellate attorneys present oral arguments to back up their written briefs, and answer questions from the judges or justices. Unlike in the trial courts, there are no witnesses or evidence presented. Appellate courts make their decisions based on the written and oral advocacy of appellate attorneys, which is why it is important to work with an experienced appellate attorney.
Appeals are typically filed after a lower court has issued its final decision in a specific case, and one of the parties is dissatisfied with the outcome. Nearly any judicial ruling, order, or judgment can be appealed. It is also possible to appeal a judicial action in the middle of a case if waiting for the judge to make a final decision would be an injustice or a waste of judicial resources. Such an appeal is known as an interlocutory appeal.
Dressel/Malikschmitt is one of the most experienced boutique appeals firms in New Jersey. We advise clients on the merits of appeals without pressuring them to proceed with arguments they are uncomfortable making. We identify issues and arguments that others might miss. And we work to persuade the judges and justices we appear before that our clients’ cases are important and deserve attention. You can trust Andrew and Chris to handle your appeal in the New Jersey Courts or the federal court system.
Appeals are common in both civil and criminal cases. Both the New Jersey Courts and the Federal Courts have appellate divisions. Dressel/Malikschmitt can take appeals to the New Jersey Appellate Division, the New Jersey Supreme Court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, and the Supreme Court of the United States.