Module # 3 Lecture
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  • 1. Module # 3 Lecture
    Appellate Procedure
  • 2. Overview
    Notice of Appeal
    Briefs of the Parties
    Trial Court Record
    Amicus Curiae Briefs
    Oral Argument
    Appeal of Appellate Court Decision
    State Supreme Court
    United States Supreme Court
  • 3. 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.
  • 4. 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.
  • 5. 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.
  • 6. 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
    Petitioner must pay for the Trial Court Record to be “prepared.”
    If Indigent, may file a motion seeking a “waiver” of the cost
  • 7. 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
  • 8. Appellate Brief Structure
    Title Page:
    Identifies the Parties, Petitioner, Respondent, Appellate Court, and docket number
    Table of Contents
    Table of Authorities
    Constitutional provisions
    Case law
  • 9. Appellate Brief Structure
    Assignment of Errors
    Errors: tells court where the lower court error
    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
  • 10. 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
  • 11. 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
  • 12. Oral Argument
    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
  • 13. 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
    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
  • 14. 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
    Oral Argument
    Decision: ALL decisions are published
  • 15. 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
  • 16. Lecture Review
    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
  • 17. Lecture Review
    Oral Argument Procedure
    Petitioner’s reserve time
    Vote on case’s outcome
    Majority and Dissenting Opinion
    Written discussion of case’s outcome
  • 18. 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