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Fairfax, Leesburg & Loudoun, Virginia

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Doug Landau
Doug Landau
Attorney • (866) 735-1102 Ext 610

It takes a village to mount a successful appeal

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An Appeal is a team effort. One of the reasons an appeal, even if you are on the winning side, is so expensive, is that appeals courts require that briefs be filed. "Briefs" are usually anything but brief. While there are page limits, most big law firms seem to go right up to the maximum number of pages. Some appeals courts (called "Appellate Courts") require a copy of the brief for EACH judge (or "Justice") who will decide the case. There are strict rules for brief size, page dimensions, binding and font. In other words, even where an injured accident victim wins her case, there are significant expenses associated with the printing, binding and copying of the briefs during the appeal.

Furthermore, law firms often hire appellate specialists. Lawyers who specialize in appeals. They can help take the evidence from the trial court and synthesize the materials to make the best possible case in front of appeals judges, who are often very different creatures than the real people who sit in juries. In addition, the record must be filed with the Appeals Court. All of the testimony that will be used to argue the appeal has to be transcribed, the evidence bound, and pleadings duplicated. The bound volumes of "the record on appeal" can cost hundred, even thousands of dollars. Likewise, the copies of the briefs can be costly to bind and print. And engaging an appellate specialist to help with brief writing or oral argument in front of the appeals court can likewise cost thousands and even tens of thousands. It is important to weigh the costs and likely outcomes of an appeal, as well as the time they can take on busy court dockets when deciding whether to revolve a permanent injury or lifetime disability case.