Overview Notice of Appeal Filings Briefs of the Parties Trial Court Record Amicus Curiae Briefs Oral Argument Decision Appeal of Appellate Court Decision State Supreme Court United States Supreme Court
Hypothetical Denise was charge with drug possession in King County Superior Court Prior to trial Denise sought to have the drugs she was arrested for possessing suppressed because of an illegal search and seizure by the Police Denise’s motion in limine was denied. At trial Denise properly objected to the drugs being admitted on the “record” Denise was convicted Denise now appeals her conviction under the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and Article I, sec 7 of the Washington Constitution.
Notice of Appeal Denise is called the Petitioner or the Appellant The State is called the Respondent or the Appellee Denise MUST file a NOTICE OF APPEAL with the TRIAL court where she was convicted. It is improper to file directly to the Intermediate Court of Appeals The Notice of Appeal is then forwarded to the proper Appellate Court In this case Division 1 of the Washington Court of Appeals.
Court of Appeals Mandatory Appeals In all case the losing party has the right to one appeal The Court of Appeals must at least review the briefs and make a decision The Court of Appeals cannot deny Denise’s appeal Indigent Defendants If a defendant had appointed counsel at trial, they have the right to appointed counsel on his or her initial appeal to the Intermediate Court of Appeals.
Filing of Briefs After the Notice of Appeal has been filed Parties file Appellate Brief with the Court of Appeals See sample on course website Also must submit the Trial Court Record This is the transcript of the trial, including all pretrial motions hearings Costs Petitioner must pay for the Trial Court Record to be “prepared.” If Indigent, may file a motion seeking a “waiver” of the cost
Appellate Brief MOST IMPORTANT part of any Appeal Appeals are often won and lost “on the briefs” DO NOT confuse with a CASE BRIEF It is a legal document in which the Petitioner argues why the Trial court got it wrong Conversely defendant argues why the trial court got it correct An Appellate Brief describes: ISSUE(S): highlights a problem or problem with the lower court decision Highlights relevant case law Applies the facts of the case, supported by the record, to the relevant case law
Appellate Brief Structure Title Page: Identifies the Parties, Petitioner, Respondent, Appellate Court, and docket number Table of Contents Table of Authorities Constitutional provisions Statutes Case law
Appellate Brief Structure Assignment of Errors Errors: tells court where the lower court error ISSUES: Formed as question asking whether under a particular law/constitutional provision the law court erred Written in a manner suggesting that there was or was not error Statement of the Case Details the case’s procedural history Lists the facts of the case as contained in the Record Summary of Argument Synopsis of party case in regard to the controlling law
Appellate Brief Structure Argument Section Sections: one section of each ISSUE Identifies and discusses relevant law Constitution, Statute, Case Law, Rules Analyzes the facts of the case against the relevant law State’s a conclusion in support of a party’s position
Oral Argument Intermediate Court: three (3) Judges Only Lawyers make arguments No witnesses No NEW evidence Essentially a discussion between the Parties and the Judges about the case
Oral Argument Procedure Petitioner Respondent Petitioner reserves time for rebuttal Each side, generally, has 10-30 minutes to make their case Judges may interrupt lawyers and ask questions Generally, does not change a Judges position, but on occasion and effective oral argument can “sway” the court
Decision Judges will “conference” after a case has been argued Will vote: Affirm or Reverse Can be Unanimous (3-0) or Split (2-1) Write a decision: Published or Unpublished Majority Dissent Decision: applied law to facts and decides which party wins; make create new law depending on the circumstances See sample State v. Young on website
Appeal of Appellate Court Decision Losing party can appeal Highest Court: i.e. State Supreme Court Both WA has 9 Justices Justices must agree to hear a case Discretionary Appeal: court can decide whether to “hear” the case; can deny Same procedure as below Briefs Oral Argument Decision: ALL decisions are published
Review of State Supreme Court Decision Appeal to the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) Must involve a Federal “Case or Controversy” Writ of Certiorari: order to lower court to send case for review Requires 4 justices to agree to hear the case Procedure essentially the same as below SCOTUS decisions are FINAL and cannot be appealed
Lecture Review Must file NOTICE OF APPEAL in the TRIAL COURT Documents submitted to Appellate Court Appellate Brief Trial Record Appellate Brief’s importance Most important part of every appeal Persuasive document advocating for a party’s position Review sample document on website
Lecture Review Oral Argument Procedure Petitioner Respondent Petitioner’s reserve time Conference Vote on case’s outcome Majority and Dissenting Opinion Decision Written discussion of case’s outcome
Lecture Review Appeal to the State Supreme Court Discretionary review Appeal to the Supreme Court of the United States Case or Controversy Four Justices must agree to hear the case Writ of Certiorari SCOTUS decision CANNOT be appealed