Family Law Appeals

Appeal to the North Carolina Court of Appeals and Supreme Court

Once a case has been decided by the trial judge, it is likely that one or both parties is unhappy with the outcome of the case. This is when the parties would consider an appeal. The appellate process has many technical requirements and nuances that need to be followed and understood. It is important to have an attorney that has experience, not only in family law and divorce as a practice area, but also with appellate work specifically. 

Here at Woodruff Family Law Group in Greensboro, we have attorneys that are experienced in handling appellate work. This ensures that each and every client we have whose case is appealed, whether by our client or the opposing party, has an attorney who has the skill, knowledge, and experience to competently represent them at the appellate level. That specific type of experience is invaluable when it comes to appellate cases. 

Again, it is important, especially at this level, to consult with an attorney with the knowledge and experience to successfully handle your case. This may also be the time to consider getting a second opinion on your case. Maybe your first attorney did an okay job, but has no experience at the North Carolina Court of Appeals or North Carolina Supreme Court. You want to make sure that the attorney you have when your case is appealed is one who can be successful. Below are more specific requirements concerning cases that are appealed after there has been a hearing or trial.

If there is a hearing or a trial in your case and one (or both) of the litigants is dissatisfied with the outcome, there may be an appeal to the North Carolina Court of Appeals in Raleigh. Time is critically important because the Notice of Appeal must be filed within 30 days of the entry of the trial judge's order. The Court of Appeals is a "paper review" of what happened in the trial court before three appellate judges in Raleigh. You are not permitted to offer new evidence. Your attorney may be allowed a 30-minute oral argument.

After the review by the three judges at the North Carolina Court of Appeals, there may be an Appeal to the North Carolina Supreme Court in Raleigh and also a "paper review." Your attorney may also have a 30-minute oral argument at this level.

As you can tell, the type of review given to cases at the appellate level is quite different than what happens at the trial court level. However, the progression that a case goes through from trial court all the way up to the North Carolina Supreme Court is important because each level builds on the level prior. The work done at the trial level is important when it comes to the North Carolina Court of Appeals because the record of the case at the trial level is going to be the record reviewed at the appellate level. Although your attorney may be allowed a short oral argument, the whole case is not going to get argued again at this level. This is why it is important to have a competent, knowledgeable, and experienced attorney at your side for the entire process, from step one. Mistakes made early on in the case can snowball to jeopardize your appellate case.

Contact us today to set up an initial consultation on a variety of family law and divorce matters, including appellate cases.